I’ve finally realized the long-awaited journey to my nomadic family in Tsekog, Zekog or rtse khog (རྩེ་ཁོག Zeku). Rongwo Rongbo (རོང་བོ, Longwu), the Reb gong the Golden Valley, was where we started the trip.
Rongwo, the seat of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Tongren County, is an ancient town, the heart of renowned Rebgong or Reb gong culture. Reb gong is known for Tibetan literature, thangka paintings, spirituality, folk culture, and food. The Rebgong culture has long had a significant impact on far more than the Amdo region of Tibet. The cultural hub is located on the riverside with a pleasant climate. It’s home primarily to Tibetans but also Chinese Han, Muslims, Monguors, and Mongols.
Zekog is a nomadic county of Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Prefecture (རྨ་ལྷོ་བོད་རིགས་རང་སྐྱོང་ཁུལ།) in eastern Amdo. The elevation of rtse khog is 3700 meters above sea level, and it’s best known for its lush grassland and exotic animals, such as both wild and domesticated yaks.
Rtse khog is where my maternal grandmother was born. In fact, this breathtaking prairie is still home to a significant number of my relatives and being home to my beloved grandmother makes this corner of nomadic Tibet very special to me.
This trip was my first visit home without Grandma. Although it’s been two years since her passing, I miss her deeply when I see the gardens she established, and the kitchen utensils she used to cook comforting meals for us. That’s why I decided to make this very trip from Rongwo to Tsekog.
And nothing makes travel more enjoyable and memorable than the small moments when your own brother acts as chauffeur, and sisters, cousins, nieces, and nephew join the fun. Visiting the impressive landscape and animals, with loved ones, thus reconnecting with my nomadic roots made the journey very special for all us.