Ethnic minority culture charms audience

CNC
Added On May 19, 2015

A dozen or so villagers from southwest China's Naxi ethnic group performed their indigenous folk chorus and dancing at the grand opening ceremony of the show "Dongba Culture of the Naxi People" in Beijing, charming audience who are ready to appreciate the thousand-year-old culture.

The opening ceremony unveiled the two-week-long exhibition at National Museum of China in downtown Beijing, displaying 250 pieces of precious Dongba cultural relics and 150 informative display boards. 

The show included five parts, "Naxi Ethnic Group and Dongba Culture", "Dongba Religion and Ceremony", "Ancient Naxi Dongba Literature Manuscripts", "Dongba Religious Arts" and "Dongba Cultural Research and Evolution".

Some 300,000 Naxi people live near the snow-capped mountains of Lijiang, a major tourist resort in southwestern Yunnan Province. The Naxi people still use the world’s last surviving pictographic written language.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) JIANG YONG, Head of Lijiang Municipal Publicity Department:

"Each year, more than 20 million visitors come to Lijiang to learn about Dongba culture. Now, in Lijiang, a variety of activities are organized both at official and public levels to promote Dongba culture. Some schools launched bilingual teaching model, which shows our great attention to protect and promote Dongba culture."

The indigenous Dongba religion of the Naxi nationality has spawned various forms of culture, including a written language using pictographs and distinct dances, music and paintings.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): LIU ZAIPING, guide at Museum of Naxi Dognba Culture:

"Our Naxi people have our own language and ethnic culture. We not only celebrate the traditional festivals of Han people, but also have our typical sacrificial rites and daily rituals."

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JUSTIN ROWELL, US tourist

"It seems it occupies a pretty area in the country and I thought the language was pretty interesting, too. The pictograms are fun to look at."

The Dongba culture of the Naxi ethnic minority has been placed by the southwestern province under key protection since 2006.

The Naxi traditional cultural has become widely known in recent years and is being studied by experts worldwide.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) YANG SHUGAO, Dongba expert:

“Over the past century, around 5,000 people are engaged in researching on Dongba culture. Around 30,000 volumes of Dongba manuscripts exist in the world. 25 countries launched programs specialized in researching Dongba culture. In brief, Dongba culture is not only regional, but also global. As Naxi people strive to protect their legacy, global attention and efforts are also crucial.”

The exhibition lasts till May 20.