This is the story about the birth of Shandrok......
The birth of Shangdrok started off as two friends, trying to figure out what other jobs can be choose from in the local Tibetan village, besides taking their traditional livelihood path or passing the exam to work as a teacher or a government employee.
However, the figuring out process took years. Brewing an idea to do something new and adventurous is rare here in Tibet, not to mention to its actual action, for most of the young students’ parents are still traditional nomads, who did not have a second thought about how to make a living besides what’s their fore-parents have always been doing.
Feeling the most connected, are the animals here on the plateau. Yaks and sheep, especially the former, have always been the herdsmen’s main focus and affiliation. Without yaks, nomads can be a complete stranger to this harsh environment.
And so, the unknown adventure they were about to take, had to do with what makes them the most peaceful in heart.
When we asked the nomad women about where is their spinning wheel and weaving equipments, even with an “okey, I’ll find it out and bring it to you” answer, the result of a few hours of search ended with “sorry, I forgot where I put it”.
Without noticing, cheap convenient plastic tents and other substitutes have entered their life in less than a decade. Incidents of such, fundamentally change the way of life up here on the plateau, and their traditional craftsmanship is at the edge of disappearing
But even the appearance of life is changing, the memories, both in mind and in body, is remaining, at least for the elderly generation and the ones that did not except formal education.
So locating at the gap of two eras, the two of our adventure takers, decided to start a business, merging traditional craftsmanship and new point of views to produce some items with practical functionality, beauty and a sense of hand-made warmth.
And perhaps at its best, to give the world a reminding voice of how we might look at our long-used life with a different angle, for better or worse.
However, starting a new business is not easy, or as any of us cannot foreseen what we’ll encounter, there’re many new concept and habit challenge along this process that almost made us give up.
This is the story not only about what we have produced here on the plateau, but also some anthropological records of what’s happening up here.