Whose Character is it Anyway? The Chinese Scriptworld in an East Asian Context

By Tom Booth

Chinese characters are perhaps the most identifiable feature of the Chinese language. The huge number of characters, in addition to their complexity, makes remembering them an imposing challenge for any aspiring learners of Chinese.

Some dictionaries list over 50,000 unique Chinese characters – that’s a lot to remember! Photo credit: Tutor Mandarin.

The first concrete evidence of character usage in China is from the late Shang dynasty (c. 1250–1050 BC) and is found as inscriptions carved on bronze vessels and oracle bones. By the end of the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) these pictograms had evolved and been standardised into a script that is similar to that which we have today.

Here we can see a visual representation of how modern-day Chinese characters, on the far right, evolved from material objects such as the sun, eyes and trees. Some modern characters, like the fish, are more abstract, whereas others, such as the mountain, retain much of the shape of the material object. Photo credit: Pintrest.

The Chinese writing system gradually spread throughout East Asia on official seals, letters, swords, coins, mirrors, and other decorative items imported from China. Scholars travelling from China brought with them texts and knowledge of characters: by the fifth century AD China, Korea and Japan were all using Chinese characters in their writing systems. As expressions of meaning rather than sounds, Chinese characters became a useful tool in allowing peoples from different cultures and languages to communicate, thus resulting in increased trade, diplomacy and exchange of knowledge.

Korean ambassadors visiting the Tang court. We can expect that they would have communicated partly through an interpreter and partly through the common writing system of Chinese characters. Photo credit: Ancient.eu.

The major difficulty facing countries with a shared writing system is how to adapt that writing system to one’s native language. If we look at Chinese and Japanese as examples, while both use the same writing system, they are radically different languages. One of the biggest differences is sentence order: Chinese syntax is ‘subject – verb – object’, whereas Japanese is ‘subject – object – verb.’

As an example, let’s take the easy English sentence ‘I eat bread’. In Chinese it is the same: ‘I eat bread’ wo chi mianbao 我吃面包, whereas in Japanese it is ‘I bread eat’ watashi wa pan o taberu 私はパンを食べる. 

As such, Chinese characters do not necessarily ‘fit’ neatly into the Japanese language. To overcome this problem Japanese has developed a native method of adapting Chinese characters to spoken Japanese by using kana. These symbols act as a phonetic alphabet and are primarily used as particles and conjugations.

Here we can see how Japanese kana, found at the bottom of each column, evolved from modern-day Chinese characters. As characters were written over and over again they became more and more cursive, resulting in the kana we see today. Photo credit: Wikibooks.

Although this kana system was developed in the tenth century, it remained unpopular amongst Japanese educated literati all the way up until the twentieth century. It was only used by women of the Japanese court who wrote poetry and letters to one another. Japan’s educated class continued to write in Chinese characters as a sign of sophistication and intelligence.

This text, entitled ‘the appearance of beautiful women’, contains mainly kana, and very few Chinese characters. This suggests it was for a popular audience rather than educated or elite eyes. Photo credit: blog.goo.ne.jp.

Japanese scholars went to great lengths to retain a Chinese style of writing, despite the difficulty of fitting it to the Japanese native language. Scholars continued to write essays and letters only using Chinese characters, and even went as far as adopting the ‘subject – verb – object’ syntax of Chinese. However, they developed several techniques to make them more accessible to Japanese readers, such as Japanese punctuation and reading marks.

Here is a very standard example of Japanese kabun or Chinese-style writing. The numbers, added later, indicate the order in which the characters should be read so as to fit the Japanese sentence order. So much effort to keep a Chinese style of writing!

Those with a knowledge of Chinese characters can probably understand most of what is written by these Japanese scholars, but it would appear non-standard, and probably a bit strange. The question, then, is this: are these Japanese scholars writing in Chinese or in Japanese? Are they thinking in Chinese or in Japanese? Ultimately, who can claim authority over these characters? We should think of Chinese characters not only in a Chinese context, but in a East Asian context and a shared Sinitic scriptworld.


About Interact China 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Chinese New Year: Time to Check Your Odds, Rats!

Written by Maria Giglio

Chinese New Year celebrations officially started last 25th January, welcoming the year of the rat. The Chinese New Year is one of the few National holidays in which everything literally stops in China. Aside for unfortunate emergencies due to coronavirus, normally for the occasion even the well-known hardworkers Chinese get to enjoy a full 2-weeks break. Commuters travel to their home villages, businesses shut down for break, families happily welcome their sons and daughters who study in big cities. During these days, even in busiest metropolises such as Shanghai or Beijing, you could hardly find an open shop! 

Photo by Ridwan Meah on Unsplash

Been there, done that. 

If you have been reading this blog, you may be already familiar with the origins and roots of this festival, mentioned in last year’s article about the Year of the Pig. To recap for new readers and lazy ones, the Chinese New Year is also known as The Spring Festival and marks the beginning of the Lunar Year. The starting date changes accordingly, following the Lunar Calendar. This is based on a very ancient – and honestly, not exactly intuitive – system, according to which the Lunar years go at a 60 Gregorian Calendar (our Calendar) year pace. So why, you may ask, every Chinese new year the Zodiac sign is different from the past year? Well, because. The sexagenary cycle interlinks with a 10-year cycle of Tiangan (the heavenly stems) and a 12-year cycle of Dizhi (earthly branches). Tiangan are associated with the 5 elements of Chinese astrology and change every two years: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water (sorry, no Air). Dizhi are instead associated with the 12 animals of Chinese zodiac, and change yearly: Rat (鼠, shǔ), Ox (牛, niú), Tiger (虎, hǔ), Rabbit (兔, tù), Dragon (龙, lóng), Snake (蛇, shé), Horse (马, mǎ), Goat (羊, yang), Monkey (猴, hóu), Rooster (鸡, jī), Dog (狗, gǒu) and Pig (猪, zhū). Easy-peasy huh? 

Photo by Glen Hooper on Unsplash

So, to recap, 2020 is indeed the year of the Rat, having been the last Rat’s year in 2008. But 2020 rat is not the same as 2020’s rat. In fact, this year we celebrate the Metal Rat, whereas 12 years ago, it was the year of the Earth Rat. Why is that so? Because the same heavenly-earthly branches combination occur every sixty years. Last Metal Rat year recurred in fact in 1948. However, each zodiac sign has also a fixed heavenly branch, which in the case of the Rat is water. 

Photo by Dru Kelly on Unsplash

Got it. But what’s so special about rats? Personality traits. 

The rat is associated with intelligence and a sharp mind. As our Tom explains in his new blog, the rat won the Heavenly Race using a ride from the strong and kind but not so canny Ox.  

According to the Chinese Horoscope, in general people born in Rat years are astute and successful. Yet, they don’t disdain peaceful life from time to time. Rat women are very well organised and value tradition. In Chinese culture, at home they are loving wives, caring mothers and great leaders. At work they are reliable, resilient and capable. Likewise, men born in the year of the Rat are very flexible and adaptable, showing great creativity and an innovative spirit. Unlike women of the sign, however, they are not natural leaders. 

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

What are the characteristics of metal rats? Highly talkative and charismatic, they are people catalysers who like to be at the centre of attention. For the same purpose, they tend to get jealous and somewhat possessive.  

Matching opportunities. 

The rat’s permanent heavenly branch is water, and therefore it gets along well with signs with opposite fixed heavenly branch, which in our case is earth. Thus, Rats are mostly compatible with Ox, Dragon and Monkey. 

Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

Wishes for 2020 

Despite usually a zodiac’s year is the most unlucky year for those falling under its sign, Rats can expect quite a good year ahead in terms of career success. Health? Not so well, but if taken care of, it’ll come around. 

Let’s be honest. This Lunar Year hasn’t started with the right foot. But we hope that the stars got it right, so happy Chinese New Year from the Interact China team!

If you enjoyed this article, please leave a like or comment below! 🙂

Photo by Giuseppe Martini on Unsplash

About Interact China 

Shape

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Chinese New Year 2020: Year of the Rat and The Heavenly Gate Race

By Tom Booth

Chinese New Year starts on Saturday 25th January 2020, the first day of the Lunar Year and the beginning of China’s Spring Festival. Lunar Years, unlike Solar Years, exist on a twelve year cycle called the Zodiac Cycle or shengxiao. Each year in the cycle is associated with one of twelve animals and that animal’s reputed characteristics.

Red Morley Hewitt / Unsplash

Chinese New Year celebrations are not just limited to China: Korean New Year and Vietnamese New Year share many similarities with Chinese New Year. Nowadays it is celebrated internationally in regions and countries with significant numbers of overseas Chinese residents.

Vernon Raineil Cenzon / Unsplash

This year is the Year of the Rat, the first in the Zodiac Cycle. But why is the Rat number one? We normally think of rats as small and dirty pests rather than revered celestial beings. What puts them ahead of much larger, more impressive creatures such as dragons, tigers and oxen?

Chris Singshinsuk / Shutterstock

The answer can be found in the legend of the Heavenly Gate Race that originates from Chinese mythology. The story is ancient, and has been retold many times, each time with slight variations on the content. Here is just one version, without too much elaboration.

Dan Hanscom / Shutterstock

Thousands of years ago the Jade Emperor made the official decision that the lunar years would each be named after animals. In order to determine which animal would be given each year, he devised a race: the first animal to reach him in his palace would be named after the first year, second place the second year and so on.

Esplanade.com

In front of the palace was a deep, fast flowing river. The rat, unable to swim across such treacherous waters, asked the ox whether he could ride on his back to cross the river. The ox, being gentle and good natured, agreed without complaint. However, as they reached the opposite bank the rat leaped off the ox’s back and rushed towards the emperor. It arrived first, and so the first year in the Zodiac Cycle was attributed to the rat.

Favpng.com

The second year was given to the ox.

Third was the tiger, who was strong and agile but struggled against the strong waters.

Fourth was the rabbit, who used its agility to jump between stones across the river.

Greta Samuel / Culturetrip

Fifth was the dragon, who saved a starving village by providing them rain, thus slowing him down.

Impressed by the dragon’s action, the emperor said the dragon’s child could be sixth: the snake slithered out and declared that it was the dragon’s son, and so the year was given to the snake.

The swift horse came seventh. 

The goat, monkey and rooster were not good at swimming, and so built a raft and sailed across, coming eighth, ninth and tenth.

The dog was good at swimming but enjoyed splashing about in the water too much and so came eleventh. 

The pig came twelfth, having got tired and stopped off for a rest half way through.

Greta Samuel / Culturetrip

One animal seems to be missing from the list of twelve: where is the cat? Cats have historically been popular animals in China, and have a long history of domestication. The absence of the cat is explained by two different stories. The first story says that both the rat and the cat were riding the ox towards the Jade Emperor’s palace. At the last minute, the rat pushed the cat off the ox’s back and into the water, eliminating it from the race. It is said that this is why cats hate water.

Greta Samuel / Culturetrip

The second story has the cat and rat as old friends who used to help each other out. The rat would wake the naturally lazy cat up in the mornings, and in return the cat would protect the rat from larger predators. On the day of the race, the rat left the cat sleeping in order to gain a head start in the race. The cat failed to wake up in time and so couldn’t participate in the race.

Whichever story you take, it explains the hatred between cats and rats – which seems to go almost beyond the instinctual relationship of predator and prey!

The Year of the Rat is therefore a year when everyone can aspire to the wit and intelligence of the rat in the Heavenly Gate Race! 


About Interact China 

Shape

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

To Live by Yu Hua: A Tremendous Journey into The Meaning of Life

Written by Maria Giglio

活着 To Live – A novel written by Yu Hua is the history of China 20th seen through the history of a family. 

One of the most prominent authors of post-Maoist literature, Yu Hua voices the anxiety and criticism of a generation lived in Cultural Revolution with sharp realism. 

The novel is written in the form of story in a story and uses first-person narration to emphasise the realistic feature of the family facts told by the main protagonist Xu Fugui and intertwined with the historical events that marked China during 20th Century, such as the Land Reform, the Cultural Revolution and the Great Famine.  The author revealed that for this novel he was inspired by an American folk song, “Old Black Joe”. The song talked about an old slave who, despite having experienced hardship and sorrow, would still look at life as a gift. 

The novel, published in China in 1993, was originally banned for its historical controversy, but it was later proclaimed as one of the most important works of Chinese contemporary literature. Today, To Live is considered a cult and a must-read to those interested in Chinese history and literature. 

Plot 

The novel takes place in southern Chinese countryside. The plot unfolds with the technique of double narration. The first narrator is a young student who travels across Chinese villages and connect with farmers and peasants to learn their stories. The second narrator is Xu Fugui, the protagonist, an old man who lives a simple, bucolic lifestyle. After having survived the death of all his loved ones, he now spends his days accompanied by an old ox also named Fugui that he once saved from slaughter. gui discloses his life to the young stranger starting from the time he was a young and arrogant rich man. A son of a wealthy land-owner, Fugui used to spend all his family money on gambling and prostitutes, constantly disregarding his father’s admonitions and his responsibilities to his pregnant wife Jiazhen. One day, Fugui squanders all the entire fortune over gambling, which causes his father to die of despair. In poverty, desperation and misery, he finds wisdom and balance and eventually grows a better man. He starts to appreciate the importance of hard work, the value of his wife who after-all has never abandoned him.

He lives through the atrocities of civil war as a brave and loyal friend. He strives for being a caring and generous father to his elder daughter Fenxia and the young son Youqing. Over his hard life, Fugui sees all his loved ones one by one tragically and prematurely pass away.  Nonetheless, he appreciates that he, after all, lives. And so, live he does, in modesty and compassion.   

It’s better to live an ordinary life. If you go on striving for this and that, you’ll end up paying with your life.” 

To Live – Yu Hua

Yu Hua’s writing is overwhelmingly realistic and crude and doesn’t spare violent and excruciating details. However, it is right through his its raw descriptions that he engages the reader with an especially intense and emotionally charging narration. 

Movie adaptation

In 1994, To Live was adapted to the screen with a homonymous movie directed by Zhang Yimou. The script keeps somewhat loyal to the plot, although the rawness of Yu Hua’s narrative is highly sweetened with a rather melancholic tone. More emphasis is given to the historical and social context in which the drama takes place. The ox, which seems quite a fundamental, symbolic character of the book implicitly reflecting the protagonist’s stoic endurance, is also removed from the script. Moreover, the original countryside setting is replaced with a northern city background. Finally, the script adds symbolic insights of shadow puppetry.  

Ironically, even though death, violence and pain are at the centre of this emotionally charging, beautiful Chinese tragedy, the author chooses to name the novel To Live. I read it as an exhortation for everyone to always look at life with kind eyes, no matter what happens. To put it in Fugui’s words:

“No matter how lucky a person is, the moment he decides he wants to die, there’s nothing that will keep him alive.”

To Live – Yu Hua

The novel bares human frailty in all its facets, to send a message of endurance.  

In 2003, an official English version of To Live was edited by Michael Berry (Professor of Contemporary Chinese cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara) and published by Anchor Books & Random House of Canada Limited.  

The book in its English version is available on Amazon at less than 15.00 $. Have you read it already? I would love to hear what you think!

About Interact China 

Shape

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Wuxia: Martial Heroes and Chinese Literature

Written by Tom

What is Wuxia?

Wuxia 武俠, literally translated as ‘martial heroes’, is a long-established Chinese literary genre that can be traced back to ancient Chinese history and continues to be produced today. The stories are most often set in fantastical pre-modern Chinese historical settings, generally during times of significant social or political upheaval. The historic events of these periods are sometimes relied on heavily as plot points, and other times merely provide a backdrop for the novel’s story. The plot normally follows a male protagonist who suffers a life-changing hardship during his childhood, such as the death of his family, and goes on to learn martial arts from various martial trainers. He eventually becomes a powerful martial artist who is capable of vindicating himself and his family.

Martial prowess and supernatural ability are blended together in wuxia. Photo credit to Charlein Gracia on Unplash.

Typically, the protagonist follows the code of xia 俠 which is composed of two main virtues: yi 義 ‘rightenousness’ and xin 信 ‘honour’. Benefactors are repaid, revenge is dissuaded, and loyalty to the teacher shifu 師父 is cherished above all else. This code of xia exists outside the bounds of the law of the land; it is instead a set of moral principles or a way of life. This is often referred to as jianghu 江湖: literally meaning ‘lakes and rivers’, the term was first used by a scholar during the Warring States period for those people who deliberately distanced themselves from politics. Those martial artists that refuse to abide by xia and take the power of martial arts for personal use are often the antagonists of wuxia novels.

Wuxia are not only limited to literature, but are also a popular form of television drama. These are often produced with huge budgets and an all star cast.

Protagonists and antagonists in wuxia novels will typically possess a number of skills and abilities. Neigong 内功 or ‘internal ability’ is the ability to channel internal energy or qi 氣 around one’s body, enabling characters to resist poisons and to gain superhuman strength and speed. Dianxue 點穴 is the ability to touch your opponent on certain vulnerable points to cause paralysis or even death. This is related to the art of acupuncture that is still popular today. Many characters combine hand-to-hand combat with weapons: popular in wuxia novels are the sword dao 刀, the staff gun 棍 and the spear qiang 槍.

In wuxia novels neigong is commonly channeled by sitting or lying down and concentrating on the movement of energy throughout one’s body. 

The Legend of the Condor Heroes

One of the most famous wuxia novels, and my personal favourite, is Jin Yong’s The Legend of the Condor Heroes 射鵰英雄傳. Set during the Jin-Song wars (1125-1234) the story follows the protagonist Guo Jing, whose family are killed fighting invading Jurchen forces, and who is trained in martial arts by a group of masters known as ‘the seven freaks of Jiangnan.’ The antagonist, Yang Kang, was also orphaned by the Jurchen, but is instead adopted into a Jurchen aristocratic family and learns martial arts to assist the Jurchen’s conquest of Song China. Both learn from a variety of masters, acquire romantic partners, and fight against a variety of opponents while travelling across China. It is a real page turner, with each chapter bringing new twists and turns to the plot.

This image depicts one of the earlier encounters in Condor Heroes between patriots Yang Tiexin and Guo Xiaotian and the Taoist Qiu Chuji, a real historical figure.

Impact

Jin Yong’s Condor Heroes was nothing sort of a cultural phenomenon in China. Numerous films and television series were made and continue to be made depicting the story of Guo Jing and Yang Kang. Comics, video games and music have also been created for the story. Jin Yong proved that, although the genre of wuxia is extremely old, it can still be popular in the modern era. In addition to this, Anna Holmwood is currently translating into English each section of Condor Heroes, releasing one book per year. Could this be the start of an international wuxia revolution?

Statue of Guo Jing at the Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong.

About Interact China 

Shape

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

Shape

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Multicultural China: A Brief History of China’s Population

By Tom Booth

In Europe most people think China is a country made up of only one ethnic identity. For many people the standard image of a Chinese person is someone with dark hair and small eyes that speaks Mandarin and writes in logograms.

A Chinese man showing off his patriotism. Image credit:  People take part in flash mob in Shanghai to celebrate 70th anniversary of P.R.C. founding / Xinhua

In reality, China is a country of great ethnic diversity. Out of China’s 1.4 billion total population there are more than 100 million people that are from ethnic minority groups. The largest of these ethnic minorities, the Zhuang, have a population of 18 million – that’s almost twice the size of the population of Greece!

A breakdown of the population of modern-day China. Created in https://www.meta-chart.com/pie

China is made up of 56 ethnic groups, each with a distinctive identity and culture. They have unique languages that are very different from Mandarin Chinese: the Miao Hmong people speak a language that derives from the Sino-Tibetan language family, while the Manchu people speak a Tungusic language that is similar to that spoken in Siberia.

The Miao Hmong people are distinguished by their elaborate silver headwear and beautiful embroidered clothes. Image credit: Xinhua News

They also have a range of religious beliefs: the Uyghur people are predominantly Muslim, while the Yi traditionally engage in shamanistic ancestor worship.

Uyghur people at daily prayer in a mosque. Photo credit: Euronews

This diversity is often celebrated as a key part of modern China’s identity.

A section of a poster in Beijing celebrating China’s 56 ethnic minority groups. Photo credit: Wikipedia

China’s multiculturalism can be best understood through two key points:

  1. China is an ancient country with a history stretching back many thousands of years. 
  2. China is extremely large, being almost the same size as the whole of Europe combined.

China has an extremely long and varied history. Over 3000 years ago China was divided into many different states. Many of these were grouped around the Yellow River due to it being excellent land for growing crops. Eventually groups began fighting over land, leading to the Warring States period 475-221 BC.

Map of China around 3000 years ago. Image credit: Minneapolis Institute of Art. http://archive.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/chinese-dynasty-map.cfm

The victory of the Qin in 221 BC saw China unified for the first time under Emperor Qin, the first emperor of China.

Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of a unified China. Image credit: Wikipedia

However, the China of the Qin was not the same as the China of today. In fact, it was much smaller, and was only around the east coast. Throughout China’s history, the size of the Chinese empire changed dramatically. The Tang dynasty spread far into the west, while the Song dynasty had shrunk into the south. The Ming saw rapid expansion into the north, and Qing China controlled the whole of Mongolia and large chunks of eastern Russia. Different territories contained different ethnic groups, but were all part of the Chinese empire.

The changing shape of China over history. Image credit: Minneapolis Institute of Art. http://archive.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/chinese-dynasty-map.cfm

China not only occupied different areas of land, but was also ruled by different ethnic groups. The Jin dynasty was established by Jurchens, the Yuan by Mongolians and the Qing by Manchu people.

Chinese men enjoying food together – notice the queue, the universal male hairstyle during the Qing dynasty. Image credit: Wikipedia

As such, ethnic minority influence is felt in all areas of modern Chinese life. Even in the Forbidden City, perhaps the most iconic monument in all of China, signs and notices are written in Manchu language, tying the place to its history under the Manchu rulers.

This sign in the Forbidden City is written both using Chinese logograms and Manchu language. Image credit: Kevin James WordPress https://kevinjames.wordpress.com/

China has also been closely connected to the outside world. The Silk Road ran all the way from Europe, along the east coast of Africa, through the Middle East and Asia Minor, around the south Asia subcontinent before entering China. As such, there was an almost constant flow not only of international goods such as spices, herbs and trinkets but also of people, knowledge, religion and language.

An image of trade on the Silk Road – camels, horses, elephants, chariots and more, reflecting the diversity of participation. Image credit: Ancient Origins https://www.ancient-origins.net/

As such, the idea of ‘China’ meant different things at different times in history. Because it is such an ancient and large country it is difficult to put a finger on a single ‘Chinese’ identity. One need only look at the huge variety of dialects, cuisine, dress and religious beliefs across Chinese history and the present day to recognise that China has always been, and continues to be, a place of huge ethnic diversity. In this light, perhaps ‘multicultural’ is the most accurate description of what it means to be ‘Chinese.’ 


About Interact China 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

People of Yunnan: A Little Great World of Worlds

Written By Maria Giglio

Once upon a time in Southwest China, three brothers were born. As they grew up, it was clear that the boys were so different, that they also spoke different languages: Bai, Tibetan and Naxi.  Each brother then decided to settle in a different area between Tibet and Yunnan. This fascinating ancient legend about the birth of Southwestern Chinese culture is only a taster of the immense diversity to characterize the region.

Did you know?

Probably you already know that China is known for its high population density. Not everyone knows, however, that unlike many other huge Countries like the United States or Canada, Chinese territory is also very rich in cultural diversity. The whole land counts as many as 56 recognized minorities in China. Interestingly, almost half of them are concentrated within the Yunnan Province in Southwest China. Curious to know who they are? There are at least 25 communities inhabiting the Yunnan territory: Achang, Bai, Bulang, Buyi, Dai, De’ang, Dulong, Hani, Hui, Jingpo, Jinuo, Lahu, Lisu, Miao, Mongolian, Naxi, Nu, Pumi, Sani, Shui, Tibetan, Wa, Yao, Yi and Zhuang.

The map below shows the territory of Yunnan, divided by ethnic groups.

Meet our partners and friends

Despite the alarming level of poverty spread across the territory, Yunnan people are renowned by locals and international tourists for their extreme hospitality, courtesy, natural cheerful spirit and vitality. Each different group has its own rich cultural heritage and proudly showcases it through colorful traditional attires, arts and crafts passed down across generations.

We at Interact China celebrate diversity and worship oriental beauty. We exist to support the people of Yunnan to move from poverty to prosperity cooperating with local artists to promote their products worldwide! Keep reading to get to know where our partners come from!

Dai

Dai or (Thai) people live in the Southern area of the Yunnan. As the name suggests, they are strictly related to their Thai (and Laos) neighbors.

Dai communities count as many as 1,000,000 people. This means that there is a lot of infra-group diversity, including language and custom, although all sub-groups share a common script which is completely different from national Chinese.

Dai culture is full of vitality and fun: one of the most important celebrations is the “Water Splashing Festival” recurring during the Dai New Year. What is the main activity of the ongoing celebrations? Well, you can see yourself..

Traditional attire for women include tight-sleeved short dresses to exalt the feminine figure. Especially in Xishuangbanna region, there is a preponderance of bright colors such as light green, pink and light blue. Here are two examples of our Dai products:

Hani

Hani people occupy a large portion of Southeast Yunnan. They have a long lasting tradition of artistic skills, especially textile art which they use as a way to express individual identity and personality.

Hani people especially give out their creativity through stitching and weaving. The recurring abstracted geometries suggest that a language hides through textiles. Below there is a taster of our collection of Hani bags: can you guess what these patterns tell?

Unlike many groups, Hani people love black and dark blue: they extract pigments from local Indigo plant. This doesn’t mean that they have a mournful spirit: usually dark backgrounds come with lots of colurful decorations.

Lahu

The Lahu people inhabit the Southern areas of the province. Still today, Lahu enjoy a very natural lifestyle. Animistic religion is still very diffused across the different sub-groups of this population.

Fun fact: legend says that the founding father of Lahu culture was a man who had been fed and raised by dogs since his birth.

As a result of this Lahu version of Romulus and Remus Roman legend, people of this tribe worship dogs as their ancestral protectors and tribute them in their arts and crafts. Usually the dog is represented with a triangle, like in these Lahu bags from our collection. Aren’t they a piece of art?

Lisu

Lisu people live in the North-western border of Yunnan close to Burma.  

These lively people too live in very natural environments and practice animistic religion. As a result, their art features a distinctively primitive character. A joy to the eyes of color-lovers. Lisu love to show off their creativity wearing bold vibrant outfits.

A truly social community, Lisu use clothing and accessories to attract one another and get together. For example, young men usually craft extravagant bags like the one below for courting. The more the tassels and pompoms, the merrier! This one makes a long way to the top…

Miao

Miao Hmong people constitute the largest minority group in China, amounting to as many as 9,426,007 people only in the Yunnan province. An originally nomadic people, large communities of Miao also inhabit neighbor regions of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

With over 5,000 years of history, Miao people can boast of an incredible infra-group diversity, although their artistic skills as featured in their impressive apparel can be considered a common feature. Miao people are worldly renowned for their textiles and rich, heavy jewelry which they proudly wear as expression of identity and history.

The making of incredibly elaborate silver jewelry such as the above horn headdresses not only reveals a high level of creativity but also an exceptional crafting technique. I dare you to find anything similar elsewhere! We are proud to offer you a huge variety of products from these incredible artists and lovely people. I didn’t know where to start, so visit our website for a full experience! 🙂

Miao silver art originates in the originally nomadic nature of the tribe. Silver jewelry was crafted from from melted coins to be carried around more easily when travelling. It was also used as dowry for marriage and more generally to express the family social status. Today, the Chinese government supports the preservation of Miao traditional silversmithing (accredited as National Cultural Heritage in 2006) yearly supplying special stocks of silver to Miao communities.

Tibetan

As the name suggest, Chinese Tibetan people occupy the north-western border of Yunnan, close to Tibet. Settled in the cold and windy mountains of the Tibetan plateau, these people live in harsh and isolated conditions, but are nonetheless cheerful.

Considerably influenced by Buddhist tradition, Tibetan people enjoy a modest lifestyle in deep connection with nature and spirituality.

The spiritual dimension of Tibetan culture reflects in their arts and crafts, entrenched with deep symbolic meaning. For example, many Tibetan jewels are made with Dzi, a local patterned black and white gemstone which is said to influence energy flux. Our Tibetan jewels keep it classic with turquoise and coral, acknowledged for their healing purposes:

Yi

Finally, the Yi people inhabit the remote mountains of northern Yunnan, even though the largest representation lives in Sichuan Province.

A peaceful people living in contact with nature, Yi are known for their incredible embroidery skills, which are full part of their cultural heritage and daily attire.

Yi people like to express their wishes for a better and wealthier life through their colorful attire. Despite the hardship of life living conditions, Yi textiles such as this lovely bag below are a full statement of joy. Can’t you feel some good vibes?

If you enjoyed this article, help us grow! We strive to make the lives of these communities better by creating opportunities for their social and economic development. Shop our articles and visit us soon!

About Interact China 

圖案

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

圖案

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Full Moon Celebration and a Baby’s First Haircut

Written by Tom Booth

The World of Baby Haircuts

A baby’s first haircut is a significant event in many different cultures from around the world and is treated with great reverence. In Hinduism hair is considered as carrying undesirable traits from previous life, and is shaved during an odd month of the first or third year of the baby’s life. Muslim babies have their first haircut much earlier when they are only seven days old. It is regarded as an act of cleansing, preparing the baby for a life as a good Muslim. 

In China, cutting a baby’s hair for the first time is also considered an important event for many families. Historically, high infant mortality due to poor nutrition and low levels of sanitation meant the early months of a baby’s life were thought of as the most pivotal in determining whether he or she would live a long and healthy life. A baby’s first haircut is both a celebration of the birth and the survival of the baby during this fragile period.

A Chinese baby having his head shaved – looking trim!

The Party

A baby’s first haircut traditionally occurs at a ‘Full Moon Party.’ This celebration marks that a full month, or a ‘full moon’, has passed since the baby’s birth, and so the baby is now ready for his or her first trim. Some families celebrate in lavish style with lots of decorations, expensive food and entertainment aplenty, while others prefer to have a smaller, more intimate celebration where the baby receives the full focus of everyone’s attention.

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Tables laid out for a Full Moon Party – notice the usage of red objects?

Full Moon Parties are almost always dominated by the colour red. Red is traditionally used at family gatherings and holidays as it is thought to symbolise good fortune and happiness. It is thought that by surrounding the baby with red the family can guarantee a future life of good luck and joy. Eggs, representing new life, are dyed red and given to guests. Guests are also offered pickled ginger, which was traditionally fed to the new mother to help bring the body back into balance after childbirth. Gifts of lucky money placed inside red envelopes are commonly given to the family of the new baby.

Red Eggs and Ginger
A plate of dyed red eggs and pickled ginger – sure to guarantee health and happiness!

The Haircut

The baby, pride of place at the centre of the celebration, will also often wear a beautifully designed red babygrow. He or she will be introduced by the proud mother and father, who may also take this opportunity to introduce the child’s name for the first time. This is also an occasion where the mother is re-introduced to the family. Traditionally the first month after birth is a ‘sitting month’ where mothers spent one month in confinement, drinking medicinal soups and resting in order to regain strength following childbirth.

The hair of the baby then cut. This is traditionally done by a family member. The process is quick and painless but is evidently quite traumatic for some!

A pair of babies having their first haircut – not quite in the party mood!

A portion of the hair is then taken by the family and tied in a red ribbon to be kept as a keep safe. It is hoped that by trimming the child’s hair it will grow back thicker and darker than before, and will stay with the child until he is much older.

While this is the general process of the Full Moon Party, China is a very large country and so different customs exist in different areas. Some families always leave a tuft of hair on their baby’s head as it is thought to prevent the baby’s soul for escaping the body. Others take the hair and use it to make a special calligraphy brush. Others conclude the ceremony by having mother and baby bathe together with pomelo leaves to wash away evil spirits.

Ethnic and Ethical: 4 Reasons to Love (and Live) Sustainable Fashion in China

Written By Maria Giglio

I remember the last time I walked around Regent’s Street area in London. It was last winter on a Saturday. Ok, it may not have been the last time, but surely it was the most memorable. I passed by a fur shop. A bunch of protesters stood in front of the building yelling at anyone getting out of the fancy door. Several bystanders just didn’t take them seriously or worse, they held their children tight, covering their eyes and ears, as if they were assisting to a terrorist attack. It was a moment of dramedy.

Greta Thunberg on her first climate strike in front of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm

Ok, we get it. In the era of veganism, environmentalism, climate change strikes, grumpy looks from Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump, not everyone is ready to give up their comfort food just yet, and for what? The promise of a better future?  Ain’t no hero, ain’t no saint, right? Wrong! Maybe this is an era in desperate need of a Marvel character, only this time the whole world is at stake. And by world, I mean trees, animals, insects, fish, your delicious bonsai, your Golden Retriever, but also you and I, our children and their children. Only problem is… The environmental alarm is set to 2030. In a world without fictional saviours, only humanity can save itself from self-destruction. Good news: we are still in time to make this happen. How? By compromising on our old habits: energy and food waste, water efficiency, responsible consumption. In a nutshell, sustainability. And compared to the payoff, this is really a small effort. The growing concern about sustainability issues has finally led many industries to look at it as a crucial bullet point in their performance checklist. Sustainable goals are increasingly becoming a key determinant of bottom line performances.

A relatively young capitalist economic superpower and a fast-forward technological hub, China is a fertile environment to grow sustainable businesses.  As an important branch of mass consumption, fashion is one of the most prosperous industries affected by sustainability goals. A workforce of young, western-educated home-comers are prepared to redress their homeland reputation with sustainable initiatives.

What is sustainable fashion?

The very first important question to ask is: what do we mean by sustainable fashion? The answer is, one that is environmental-friendly, but also people-friendly. Why would (and should) we support it, then?

It’s good for the planet

Sustainability intuitively relates to environmental issues. In what ways fashion can be sustainable under this aspect? First of all, generally ethical brands offer handmade products, usually unique pieces. Taking mass-production off the table implies to avoid frenetic production which exhausts resources rapidly, but also to avoid industrial processing which implies high level of energy emission, chemical material usage, water consumption, toxic waste.

Moreover, sustainable clothing is made of natural, organic and recycled materials. This contributes to reduce the ecological footprint not only because “what comes from nature returns to nature” but also because it reduces waste production. In fact, organic fabric generally ensures a better quality of clothing, which usually lasts longer than synthetic fibres. This discourages you from disposing of a shirt right after few months of usage.

It’s good for yourself

I’ve just pointed out that a very important feature of sustainable fashion is that is made of organic fabric. This is also good for your health. As a customer, you don’t want to risk to wake up covered in rash because of the wrong pajama. Organic fabrics usually have a very low level, if not free, of toxicity and carcinogens.

Moreover, let’s not forget that handmade production grants you top quality and awesome unique pieces, at a fairly reasonable prices. Don’t you want to feel special and unique too?

It’s good for other people

Environment and health are the most obvious reasons for going sustainable. But beyond those, we should think of sustainability more as a holistic concept, that refers to all the dimensions of our living together. It’s a call to share the global limited space and resources equally, responsibly and kindly, paying the same consideration for the well-being of others as the consideration we expect them to pay for us. The official plan for sustainability set up by the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals  (in short 2030 SDGs), amounts to 17 global goals in total including social goals in the global political agenda.

To mention some, gender equality, education, peace, justice, decent work, innovation. So, beyond the eco-friendly purpose, sustainable fashion also aims at achieving social equality. How? By taking care of the well-being of women and men behind each product. For example, the use of organic materials reduces the risk of exposure to and inhalation of toxic substances, thus safeguarding the worker’s health. Moreover, sustainable brands endorse a policy of fairness. Retailers in this slice of market are usually committed to promote the ethnic products of the most marginalised communities in the world to support their independent development. How? By granting fair pay and treating them as equal partners and avoiding engaging in abusive practices. Last but not least, by promoting their cultural heritage, often at risk of disappearance due to the mass-globalisation.

Ultimately, it’s good for your soul

Yes, it is. Don’t you feel already empowered by knowing that so much good can come from one simple gesture? You are one bag away from changing a life, for real.

Chinese Brands Committed to Ethical Fashion

And if you’re curious to know who is striving for social change in the Chinese fashion district, here are some examples:

Nuomi – A high-end fashion line, Nuomi empowers women with its handmade line, all using natural fibres such as bamboo, cotton, silk, and an admirable working ethics, creating employment opportunities in disadvantaged contexts.

Fake Natoo – is a true blessing for the environment, using exclusively recycled and donated materials. The fashion brand is also committed to create working opportunities for migrant female creatives by giving 10% of its annual revenue to their cooperatives.

NEEMIC – this high end fashion brand uses 100% organic materials, from fabric to cleansing products such as biodegradable soaps to avoid chemical waste.

Interact China: Do good, look good, feel good!

If you are looking for something that ticks all the boxes but is also culturally tripping, look no more! Interact China is devoted to promoting the delicate creations of Chinese and Southeast Asian ethnic communities.

Miao generations of lady crafters

Our mission is to improve the livelihood of these communities by providing them with the opportunity to sell their products in the global market.

Our co-founders Aileen and Norman on a trip to a Miao Village, Yunnan 2005

Each item is a little treasure telling the story of its people’s long journey. Do you want to hear it? The way we see it: do good, look good, feel good! You are just a click away from making it happen… Visit us on www.InteractChina.com !


About Interact China 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

圖案

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Tibetan Music – About Religion, Besides Religion

By Sari Xu

To be honest, as an outsider, I found it hard to distinguish Yi music from traditional music of Dai people. The closer these ethnic groups are geographically, the more similarities we could see among their music. However, Tibetan music is much more distinctive and you can easily recognize it after you read about the following introductions.

About Religious Music                                                                                                   

The main religion of Tibetan people is Lamaism (The Mahayana branch of Buddhism). Therefore, their music is mostly Buddhist music. Other than the traditional chanting music, Tibetan people also created their own musical notation – Yāng Yí Musical Notation (央移谱) back in 14th century. It consists both straight lines and curves, while the 7 straight lines have the same function as the modern Western musical score, the curves replace the notes and indicate the entire flow of the melody. Therefore, there is no publicly accepted standard for these notes. The only way to read the notation is to learn from senior lama (monks), follow their chant, keep practicing daily for lifetime, and truly understand the meanings behind.

Just like the Pilgrimage to Santiago, the road to Potala Palace, Lhasa is another famous route among pilgrims. The religious music is one of the main sources that mentally supports the lama and pilgrims to finish their pilgrimage with a worship on the ground every three steps starting from their hometown until Potala.

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A Yang Yi Musical Notation Sample

 

 

 

 

Besides Religious Music

Other than their religious life, Tibetan people also sing and dance a lot in their daily life. The concepts are mostly about the nature, the family reunion, and best wishes to everything. Some popular types of folk songs including Sgor-Gzhas(果谐), Reba-Gzhas(热巴谐) and Mamani(嘛玛尼), etc. Sgor-Gzhas is the most popular way of singing while dancing in a circle simultaneously. Reba-Gzhas represents various types of dance music to accompany with knife dance, deer dance, musical dramas and so on. The Mamani artists usually hang on a religious painting in front of the audience and tell the religious story through their songs.

Modern Artists and Singers

The music talents of Tibetan people are also widely recognized by audience around China. Tseitain Zhoima, as one of the best sopranos in China, was deeply influenced by Tibetan folk music since childhood. Her iconic works including Liberated Tibetan Serfs Singing the Emancipation, Over the Gold Hill in Beijing, The East is Red, etc. Yangchen Zhoima, probably more known as Han Hong (韩红), is a mixed Tibetan-Han singer and songwriter. Heavenly Road is her prestigious masterpiece.

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Tseitain Zhoima Performing in Tibetan Clothing

Why Tibetan?

Tibetan people are born to be great singers. Why?

Around 8000 years ago, Qiāng Tribe, the ancestor of Tibetan people, settled in the Tibet Plateau and started grazing. To communicate on the endless plain, it’s necessary to have great voice when herding animals. In addition, the atmosphere pressure is much lower at high altitude like Tibet, the trachea, bronchus and lungs of Tibetan people gradually evolved and developed to tackle with the thin air. This helps Tibetan people to reach really high pitches and also spread their voice far away.

Nowadays, more and more musicians fall in love with Tibetan music and started to add Tibetan elements into their own music. No matter what types of music they are doing, they could always find the Tibetan music mixing well with the pop music favored by the majority. Therefore, the Tibetan music now is no longer about religion only, it goes beyond Lamaism, and even beyond the border to the international stage. Check out this performance to see how young Tibetan singers are promoting their own music in a modern way.

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!