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Asian Corridor 4, The Salt in Yanjing

This is the 4th film from the Korean Broadcasting System about daily life and the trade routes in Yunnan and Tibet.


When the Tibetan plateau was formed the ocean floor was pushed thousands of metres into the air. Along with it in one place went a part of the salty ocean, which was trapped in an underground reservoir.


Yanjing (Naxixiang) is located in the far south-east of Tibet on the border with the southernmost Chinese state of Yunnan. Here they have dug wells which access the ocean reservoir which they mine for salt.


The work is mainly carried out by the women, as custom dictates that men play no part in the panning of the salt, although later they do do take it and trade it in distant regions.


The documentary mainly follows the hard life of one 22-year old woman, Jashiyongjong, who is the main breadwinner in her family, as her mother can no longer work on the salt pans.


The film also looks at the trade routes and exchanges made by the men, which mainly takes place in Yunnan, and entails exchanging salt of different qualities for grain.


Near the end of the film we see that Jashiyongjong finally has enough money to get married and we see the marriage ceremonies and thereby one more facet of life amongst the Naxi peoples.

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