The Chinese classical opera of the Yunnan province is locally known as Dian Opera. It is a uniquely Yunnanese tradition with a history of more than 200 years. It emerged as a synthesis of a multitude of operas styles in the Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Borrowing from other opera styles of the mid Qing Dynasty, Dian Opera is sung in Yunnan dialect with music and melodies indigenous to Yunnan. In the Ming Dynasty, it blossomed into a distinct style of opera in its own right. The loss of popular appetite for such traditional forms of cultural expression has more or less brought the Yunnan Opera to a halt. The opera finds its captive audience among the elderly, while the young remain woefully disenchanted. Culture is the collective expression of the norms and behavior in a society. It encompasses the habits, livelihoods, fine and performing arts, social relations, religious practices, education – everything that the people of a particular place do. With time, people change and so does culture. Some elements disappear and some emerge anew. Throughout the vicissitudes of culture, professions interlinked with its different elements come and go. When a particular cultural expression faces obsolescence, so do the associated professions. The people in these professions often struggle to adapt to the changing circumstances. Failing to find alternatives, they become unemployed. For their families, the consequences are severe. Experts officially in charge of dealing with social change scarcely consider this human impact. We hear about preservation of cultural heritage all the time, but rarely see any action to save the people who keep it alive. So much is lost, withering amid the pages of books. We must remember that culture is essential to our society. Uprooting cultural expressions can dispossess the people involved.