Norlha is a Tibetan sustainable luxury lifestyle brand and social enterprise based in the village of Ritoma on the Tibetan Plateau.
Ritoma is an expanse of rolling hills and narrow valleys fed by streams. There are wetlands and whole areas with grassy bumps accessible only by foot or horseback. Grassland is perpetrated by maintaining an ecological balance developed over thousands of years, a fragile equilibrium between the plants and animals that live on it. The plateau is host to a rich flora, much of it endowed with medicinal properties, fodder for the yak, sheep and gazelles that graze on the pasture. Varied and stunning, the flora reaches its peak on July 15th with carpets of yellow flowers and ending in late October when the edelweiss have dried out and the milk thistles’ seeds have left the flower, taken by the wind.
Historically, Ritoma has been home to Tibetan nomads who are closely tied to nature’s cycles, knowing that moderation helps to maintain a balance, only taking what is needed to assure their livelihood. The Buddhist worldview in this area also holds a deep respect for nature combined with the knowledge that the surrounding lands are deeply tied to identity, deserving the utmost care and respect.
In recent decades, the nomadic way of life on the Tibetan Plateau has been threatened by the effects of climate change and globalization. By creating more diverse sources of income for traditionally nomadic communities through sustainable development, Norlha brings greater opportunities to the region, which, in turn, allows families to thrive while maintaining close ties to their traditions and histories.
A poem for earth day composed by one of Norlha’s Managers Jampa Dhundup:
Don’t contaminate water, it is the blood of the earth
Don’t dig the ground, it is the earth’s flesh and bones
Don’t cut down our forests, they are the earth’s skin and fur
Protect the earth, it is our home.