Things are changing on the Tibetan Plateau. With diminishing grasslands, falling livestock prices, smaller families, and a rise in the number of children going to school, the nomads are finding it increasingly hard to continue their traditional way of life. Many are leaving the grasslands, struggling at this time of transition to keep their culture alive while also embracing the modern world.
In the settlement of Ritoma, the Norlha textile workshop is giving former nomads a way to stay in the area and earn a living, whilst also preserving their culture. A few years ago, the company set up a basketball team. It has proved incredibly popular with both male and female employees, most of them former nomads. They’re on the court every day at lunchtime and after work, no matter what the weather. Now they have their first coach, a former college basketball player from the USA.
When they play against the former professional players from USA and other Tibetan regional teams in the first regional tournament, will their team win?