Qinghai Love Story

Ying and Yong’er were both students from a university in the South. They signed up for a research project as environmental protection volunteers and travelled to the harsh, remote and beautiful Hoh Xil Lake region (Qinghai Province) together.


Ying was assigned to the relatively less remote Tibetan Antelope Observation Station at Budong Spring, Yonger, however, was assigned to the more remote and harsher Tuotuo River Observation Station. Beyond the towering snow-capped mountains in the north is the vast Gobi Desert. The Hoh Xil under the snow-capped mountains is known as the “forbidden zone” due to the extreme altitude, the cold and the lack of oxygen.


At Tuotuo River Observation Station, all Yonger had was a clean and tidy tent. There was nothing in it except a bed. For a southerner like Yonger, the crushing cold was unimaginable. At times, he had to collect data at minus 40 degrees C. However, every time Yong’er went to Ying’s place to submit reports, he only told Ying about his interesting encounters in Hoh Xil. He did not breath a single word about his suffering.

Actually, Ying had already learned from other companions how difficult the conditions at Tuotuo River Observatory were. Constantly at risk of hypothermia, Yonger pretended that everything was all right, for fear that Ying might lose sleep over it. She too pretended not to know and counted the days to the end of the project, but worry bit her constantly. She waited anxiously for the last batch of data from Tuotuo River. Once Yonger had submitted that, they could both go back to their warm and cozy beds in the south.

One day, Budong Spring was visited by the leader of the expedition. She thought the project was ending early, but he came from Tuotuo River and brought along Yonger’s personal effects to be returned to his family. Ying was stunned. Yonger had died at Hoh Xil. Ying was devastated and lived in misery ever since.

After hearing to the poignant story of Ying and Yong’er, Xinjiang songwriter Dao Lang was deeply moved. He wrote a song specially dedicated the two of them. This song is 西海情歌 (Love Song of the West Sea). 西海 is the old name for Qinghai Lake.


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Musical Maverick, Dao Lang

Actually, I agree with Na Ying and Wang Feng’s assessment and Dao Lang’s waning popularity is not so much due to him deliberately keeping a low profile but rather the initial buzz that greeted his unique style is long gone. In the long run, the capricious spenders in the Chinese market will grow tired of him and his only fans would be the working class people who buy pirated copies. If a studio were to invest in producing Dao Lang’s music from then until today, they are almost certain to lose money. In that sense, I don’t completely agree with the video below.


However, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Dao Lang is no good. I’m just talking about the commercial value of his music and his potential as an idol in China. While he definitely earn a comfortable living as a songwriter, there is a ceiling to his commercial value because unless he undergoes a total image makeover (which he is obviously unwilling to undergo) he simply doesn’t have the “sophistication” to sell cars and luxury apartments. People don’t pay a lot to listen to music these days. What’s more, concert tickets would probably cost many of Dao Lang’s fans a week’s salary. Singers often have to resort to being brand ambassadors to get rich. Dao Lang simply doesn’t have the star factor to rake in unlimited advertising returns.

Below is one Dao Lang Song that I like.

Dao Lang in Hong Kong with Cantopop king, Alan Tam, about 20 years ago.

Finally, Alan Tam manages 披著羊皮的狼 professionally and with superior technique. Note the difference and why some people think that Dao Lang can’t sing.

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I Like This Kyrgyz Song

Автор слов: Чынгыз Алиев Аранжировка: Teddme Ырдын созу: Байкалбастан, байланыпмын Айланыпмыпмын сага кайра Жакындасан, айла таппай Жашынамын, жаным кайда Бридж: Ар бир куну мен Кагаз бетине, соз ордуна мен Кармап калемим Арзуу сезимим арнап келемин Сага гана, сага гана

Word author: Chingiz Aliyev
Arrangement: Teddme


Unnoticed, tied, I'm around, I'm close to you again, I'm hiding, where is my soul Bridge: Every day I'm on paper, instead of words, I'm holding my pen

Припев: Аруу аруужан жалжалым менин Жалтанып жалындуу карегинден Эй-эй-эй, деги-деги, эй-эй-эй Тандасы атын тамгалап кайталап Жандасам тилим кайдан шай табат Эй-эй-эй, деги-деги, эй-эй-эй Продюсер и автор идеи: Тагай Тазабеков Режиссер и автор идеи: Назгуль Бербаева Оператор: Чынгыз Сулумбеков Видеомонтаж: Азамат Кадыров Администратор: Жамиля Таалайбек кызы Стилист: Чынара Султаналиева Make up and hair: Салон красоты «Звезда» Менеджер: Сабина Сабирова


My beautiful sister-in-law
Glancing fiery pupils
Hey-hey-hey, hey, hey, hey
Repeat the selection of the name
Where is my tongue when I live?
Hey-hey-hey, hey, hey, hey

Producer and author of the idea: Tagai Tazabekov
Director and author of the idea: Nazgul Berbaeva
Cameraman: Chyngyz Sulumbekov
Video editing: Azamat Kadyrov
Administrator: Jamilya Taalaibek kyzy
Stylist: Chinara Sultanalieva
Make up and hair: Beauty salon "Zvezda"
Manager: Sabina Sabirova

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