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The Yunnan Snow Mountain Minority Peoples Evening

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya Today was just like all days here in China, 'another beautiful day here in Shaowu'. Did someone mention the weather? The humidity my friends has really kicked in. Over the past week or so it was knocking on Fujians door but yesterday someone heard that knock and went to see who was knocking. There was no chance of quickly closing the door to the big bad wolf. He barged in with the rest of his army. Classes have been like teaching in a swimming pool. This is the only school I have been to that doesn't have a single fan in even one room. Even my little poor school in Tianyang had three fans in each room. Two ceiling fans for the students and a wall fan for the teacher. Every one is almost entirely soaked through by lunch time. The students spend a a lot of their time faning themselves and by mid afternoon they are doing their best to keep themselves awake. This is not a poor school in comparison to Tianyang where half the students still came to school in sandals during winter because their families couldn't afford to dress them properly. But then again maybe it has less money than I think it has. I had to get myself a fan last week and have been carrying it around the apartment most days since. As of two days ago it even comes to the bathroom door as the water is now room tempreture which means it can't be called cold and refreshing. Once you turn the cold water off, unless you have air movement you'll need another shower in several minutes. Give it a week or two and it will become normal to me again like in Guangxi. Now that the weather report has finished we can get to the spectacular evening I have just experienced.

During the afternoon I had a ticket to a performance delivered to my door by Shirley the Super English Teacher. It was to a Minority singing and dancing event. The Minority Peoples were from Shangri-la in Yunnan Province and as I have visited this area on several occasions I was instantly excited. Hey, minority girls in minority dresses. They could spend the night playing chess and I'd still be happy! The show was absolutely stunning. I couldn't give it higher praise. The minority costumes were so colourful and brought back memories from my several journeys to that extremely lush part of China. They also reminded me so much of my life back in Tianyang and Guangxi. Being an autonomous area, colourful minority dresses and minority music were pretty much normal life in most parts. The dancing reminded me of living in Gansu as my schools students were taught a style of dance used mainly in the west of China. The main attraction, apart from the actual dance and the beautiful girls ofcourse were the long sleeves. Swooshing and swirling they created colourful patterns in the air like fireflies dancing on a rainbow. The singing became normal for me in Gansu as everyone listens to this style of music there. Some do in Guangxi and Fujian but it is not as common. I think it comes from further west in Xinjiang Province and can be found all through Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet etc It's like, well it's hard to explain really. Those who have been to China and those who have heard a Chinese Opera will know that a lot of Chinese female singers have high pitched voices but this goes one step further. The only way I can explain the difference is to say that it kind of reminds me of being China's 'Country and Western' style. It doesn't sound like 'our' Country and Western but the costumes, where it's from, attitude etc give it that air.

I guess if you read about my journey along the Sichuan - Tibet Highway and places like Xiangcheng and Litang and China's 'Cowboys' you may understand. They are the people and they create the music. It's sung in local dialect so for a few hours everyone in the room felt like I do most days. None of them could understand a bloody word of it. In between songs a translater had to explain certain details as to what certain people were saying. The performers were all from little villages that are found beneath the awesome Snow Mountain. All the songs were based around present life, myths and offering thanks to the mountain for its protection of the people whom live in the area. I had such a wonderful evening and I was really sad when it ended. It wasn't a short show either but I didn't want it to end. Though it had to end I think it was the most awesome way to welcome both Martin and Georga to Shoawu. Gone are the English accents and like a slap in the face the full on Aussie accent will become a normal part of my day again for the next three to five weeks, depending on the end of term dates that is. They will then head back to Yangshuo and resume teaching there for several weeks before donning the pack and traveling around China and across to Nepal and India etc. Needless to say, it was a real strange experience when we all first spoke. It really did take me back six years ago to the Melbourne Mall when I returned home from my big adventure. Life really couldn't get more beautiful! Beers N Noodles to ya....Shane The sound track to this entry was by a band called Sepultura The album was an awesome release for its time. From memory the members of the band went to live with a tribe of people in the Amazon Jungle for a time learn about their 'beats and roots'. Hence the name of the album 'Roots'.

The Minority Peoples Dance

The Minority Peoples Dance


The Minority Peoples Dance (1)

The Minority Peoples Dance (1)


The Minority Peoples Dance (10)

The Minority Peoples Dance (10)


The Minority Peoples Dance (11)

The Minority Peoples Dance (11)


The Minority Peoples Dance (12)

The Minority Peoples Dance (12)


The Minority Peoples Dance (13)

The Minority Peoples Dance (13)


The Minority Peoples Dance (2)

The Minority Peoples Dance (2)


The Minority Peoples Dance (3)

The Minority Peoples Dance (3)


The Minority Peoples Dance (4)

The Minority Peoples Dance (4)


The Minority Peoples Dance (5)

The Minority Peoples Dance (5)


The Minority Peoples Dance (6)

The Minority Peoples Dance (6)


The Minority Peoples Dance (7)

The Minority Peoples Dance (7)


The Minority Peoples Dance (8)

The Minority Peoples Dance (8)


The Minority Peoples Dance (9)

The Minority Peoples Dance (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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