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Olympic torch on top of the world

In a moment that made many Chinese proud, 21 Tibetan-Chinese, 8 Han-Chinese, and 1 Tujia-Chinese helped bring the 2008 Olympic Torch to top of the worlds’ highest peak.

The name of the peak in Tibetan is ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ (jo-mo glang-ma ri), which is often translated as “Great Mother” (literal translation as given in Chinese: “mother of Earth”). The first written recording of the peak comes from 1717, when a Beijing cartographer sent by the Qing Emperor Kangxi published it as part of an imperial map (皇舆全览图). The peak was marked on the map in the first half of the 18th century in Manchu and Hanyu as 朱母郎马阿林 (zhu mu lang ma a lin). The name of the peak in Chinese is now 珠穆朗玛峰 (zhu mu lang ma feng), transliterated into English as Mount Qomolangma.

British cartographers would first identify this peak nearly 150 years later, in 1847. But the name selected by the British Royal Geographical Society still dominates in the West today: Mount Everest, after British surveyor George Everest. Several years back, China encouraged the world to rename the peak’s name in English based on its original Tibetan name, but the Western world hasn’t followed. In English, they continue to refer to the mountain by the name of a Knight of the British Realm.

ADDED: AP wire report: “Tibetan woman holds Olympic flame atop Everest

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  1. Bing Ma Yong
    May 8th, 2008 at 06:12 | #1

    is the flame still there under that weather?

  2. May 8th, 2008 at 11:39 | #2

    . . just hope they don’t melt the snow cap while they’re up there

  3. Bing Ma Yong
    May 8th, 2008 at 12:20 | #3

    they need hold a valcano torch to melt the snow cap

  4. May 8th, 2008 at 13:08 | #4

    You sure? You never know what these nutters get up to when your not watching them.

  5. citizen
    May 8th, 2008 at 14:27 | #5

    why should the rest of the world use the Chinese name? Half the mountain is in Nepal.

  6. Buxi
    May 8th, 2008 at 14:58 | #6


    Good point. The Nepali name for the mountain is Sagarmatha.

  7. May 8th, 2008 at 16:02 | #7

    well, the Nepali’s name sagarmatha is as good as the Han Chinese name Shengmu Feng…… according to wiki, the south side of the mountain in inhabited by Sherpas who also call it Chumolangma. (Sherpa are related to Tibetans, at least lingustically).

    As for the Nepalis. they never really have a name for that mountain until 1960s (who would care about a snow cap if it is just another peak not within his visible range?).


  8. May 8th, 2008 at 16:05 | #8


    there is supposed to be some “rocket science” (i think that is not the precise description),
    “Fueled by propane, the flame burned brightly in the frigid, windy, oxygen-thin Himalayan air thanks to technology that keeps rocket motors burning in the upper reaches of the atmosphere”

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