In one of the most memorable road trips I have ever done, I visited Qinghai, situated in the vast Tibetan plateau. After wandering through the mostly unfriendly and uncommunicative region of Xingjiang, it was a relief to land up in a place where people at least looked at you while speaking. The grassy landscape was also a welcome change to sore eyes beginning to get tired of looking at sand dunes and dry land. We immediately set out, trying to find some lunch when we came across this small monastery with a lot of people gathered around. A little bit of investigation revealed that there was a small festival happening to appease the gods. Lunch forgotten, we joined the crowd for the next half an hour to witness the happenings.

There were men and women dressed up in costumes, important looking men in robes and pretty women in traditional attire. And the children like this little guy. All dressed up with small drums in their hands to beat out a tune. Some of them were restless but their parents stood nearby gently urging them. Tiny ones, taller ones, teenagers. All looking serious and vulnerable at the same time. Lunch tasted a lot better than it really was, after this.

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