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Zhenkang Culture

 Zhengkang is a county inhabited by many ethnic groups,such as Dai(傣),Jingpo(傈僳),Miao(苗),Deang(德昂),Bai(白),Lahu(拉祜),Bulang(布朗) ethnic groups. Zhenkang  enjoy rich culture , has a long history and with age-old cultural traditions. Most of them with their own narrative poems, songs and love songs,also there are various nationalities myths, legends and folktales. “A Suse” YunNan Folk Dance, Multinationality  culture(多民族文化),Deang Nationality culture(德昂文化) Wa Nationality culture (佤族文化).

 

 

A Suse Yunnan Folk Dance “阿数瑟”打歌

If you come to zhenkang, be sure to watch the “A Suse” YunNan Folk Dance “ . You must learn to the “A Suse YunNan Folk Dance “ .In A  Suse  YunNan Folk Dance (阿数瑟打歌) ,you can enjoy a variety ofunique local characteristics tune , Farmers embrace the three - stringed(三弦), flute(笛子), blow Lusheng(吹芦笙), play the suona.(吹唢呐). “A Suse” YunNan Folk Dance (“阿数瑟”打歌)can be seen everywhere in Zhenkang.

 


Multinationality  culture  多民族文化

Zhengkang is a county inhabited by many ethnic groups,such as Dai(傣),Jingpo(傈僳),Miao(苗),Deang(德昂),Bai(白),Lahu(拉祜),Bulang(布朗) ethnic groups. There are 8 kinds of ethnic minority ,the population is 39378, accounting for 24.8 percent of the county. Zhenkang  enjoy rich culture , has a long history and with age-old cultural traditions. Most of them with their own narrative poems, songs and love songs,also there are various nationalities myths, legends and folktales .Every nation has a deep love with tree,when you come into Zhengkang county you can see the dense forests, beautiful simplicity of folk customs and folk songs first, as if to see a harmony landscape between man and nature.

 


Bulang  Culture 布朗文化

With a population of 17,935, the Deang ethnic minority lives exclusively in Yunnan Province and primarily in Luxi and Zhenkang Counties, along with Dai(傣族), Jingpo(景颇), and Wa ethnic minorities.

Language: 
Their language is a branch of Mon-Khmer group of the Austro-Asiatic phylum. They have no traditional written language, so some of people use the written Chinese language along with that of the Dai and Jingpo languages.


Crafts: 
The Deang people are skilled craftsmen, Silversmiths cast bracelets, fasteners, necklace, and tobacco pipes; women can also spin, dye and weaving cloth, with bright Deang characteristics – simple but delicate.



Food and Food Culture: 
The Deang ethnic minority's staple food is rice, supplemented with corn, wheat and legume. They like to grow tea and to drink dense tea, which won them fame as 'old tea peasants', - they take great pride in their unique tea culture. When they visit relatives, propose marriage, welcome friends, and even when they ask for forgiveness, they will offer tea to show their regard. Another way of enjoying tea is to chew a kind of wet tea which helps cool in scorching summer.


Religion: 
Influenced by the Dai ethnic minority, Deang people are faithful to Hinayana, a sect of Buddhism. Boys of less than 10 years old are sent to the temples to become monks, learning sutras. Most of them are secularized after several years, with only few promoted as Buddha who are highly esteemed as both educated and knowledgeable. Meanwhile, they also worship the original gods, such as Dragon King, God of Mountain, God of Land, etc.


Festivals: 
Similar to the Dai ethnic minority, the Deang people also treat the Water-splashing, Door-opening and Door-closing Festivals as ceremonial days.


 

Wa Culture 佤文化

House of Wa 

The Wa ethnic minority lives primarily in the counties of Ximeng, Cangyuan and Menglian in Yunnan Provinces. According to the census of 2000, they have a population of 396,610.


Language and Character:
Their language belongs to the Mon-Khmer group of the Austro-Asiatic phylum, and can be divided into three dialects. The Chinese government helped the Wa to create a written formal language in 1957, since there were no characters that were widely used.


Belief:
Years ago, they believed in the power of natural things and thought all things have their spirits, including for example water, mountain, and wood. The mightiest god was called 'Muyiji', and his five sons were the ancestors of the Wa. In recent years, some of the Wa have become followers of Buddhism and Christianity.


Food:

They  live mainly on agriculture. The staple of their diet is rice, and they like to chew betel nuts and drink wine. The food is prepared with spicy flavors. They regard wine as a necessity when they host guests or their elders. During festivals, young men will toast girls with a special wine that is held in a bamboo tube, and girls will drink it through a straw.

Taboos:
There are several taboos that guests should be aware of so that when they visit a Wa family, they will not offend their hosts. For example, the guests should not ride into a Wa village on a horse; they should not touch other's head or ear; and Wa girls will not accept a guests' gift if it is an adornment.


Clothes:

They favor the colors red and black, so their clothes are usually black with red decorations. Men's coat and trousers are short and broad, and they all like bare feet. Besides, they like to take knife and bamboo necklace. Women's clothes are more beautiful. They wear necklaces and bracelets, most of which are made of bamboo or silver. Their ear rings are very distinctive for the complex style incorporating shining silver rings with bird bones and shells. As the Wa women love very long hair, they incorporate their hair into their dances which highlights their charm.


Other Customs: 
Every time there is great event or festival, the Wa people will hold the Piaoniu ceremony, In this ceremony, they kill an ox, divide its meat amongst all the families for sacrifice to their ancestors. The ox bone is given to the host of the ceremony and symbolizes wealth. This ceremony is symbolic of their wish for peace and great harvest.


Festival

The Water-splashing Festival is held mid cycle of the fourth lunar month, with a duration of three to five days. On that grand day, all the people rally in the temples, listen to sutras and clean the statue of Buddha with the purest water. After, while singing and dancing, they splash water to each other which is the ritual way to give greetings. They are quite adept at Wushu, this is also an entertainment. As this is a very polite minority, in their families, the juniors will clean the feet of their seniors.

The Door-opening and Door-closing Festivals are also related to Buddhism. From the fifteenth day of the ninth month according to the Dai calendar, to the fifteenth day of the last month, the 'Buddha' will not go out and walk in temples; disciples will supply them with food, flowers, and money. Only after the Door opening Festival will they return to their regular way of life



Name linked between father & son and clan system


The name linked between father and son system is a method of naming by linking father's and son's names, which appeared at the transition period from matri-clan system to patri-clan system. It used to be popular or is still popular among Yis, Hanis, Drungs, Was, Jingpos, Nus, Miaos, Uygurs and Kazaks.


The name system of Yis derivate from father to son, which means father's name is ahead of son's name. The last one or two syllables of the father's name are added before the son's name, and the last one or two syllables are added before the grandson's name. Thus their names are all linked with one another generation after generation. People can recite ancestors and pedigrees to tens of or even one hundred of generations, such as Apu Juma-Juma Denglun-Denglun Wuwu-Wuwu Gengzi-Gengzi Gengyan-Gengyan Ayi-Ayi Aqu-Aqu Libu¡­

The name system of Yis is not only a kind of naming method. It also connects with clan system closely. It is oral family tree which forms and remembers clan and pedigree, and is an important way to make clear blood tie of clan and to guarantee the patrilineal descending principle to property. In the past, every Yi family paid much attention to its family tree, and men must remember and recite it clearly.

Clan system is a traditional social political and economic system of Yis. Before the foundation of new China, it was popular in the Liangshan Yi region. The clan is a patrilineal blood group, and is composed of clan, branch and single family. Every clan has its family tree passed on for generations, the names in which are linked between father and son, and the family tree is named with a common male ancestors or a place name. Every clan has its common and fixed gathering scope, and common forest, pasture, barren hills and marshland. All members of the clan have the obligation to assist one another and to revenge for one another. Every clan has varied number of headmen, and inside and outside affairs are discussed and dealt with by headmen and affair discussing meeting of the clan. Intermarry is prohibited. Because united and stable political power organization didn't come into being in Liangshan Yi society, the clan becomes the basic social organization of the Yi society, and it functions as a local political power organization to some extent. What's more, the clan system and slavery hierarchy system are connected with each other closely. The Black Yi clans occupy a dominant position, and the White Yi clans are subordinated to the Black Yi clans. 

Before the establishing of the new China, clan played a very important role in Yi society. Liangshan Yi saying goes like this: "Fish relies on water; Bee relies on mountain rock; Monkey relies on forest; People rely on clan." "Cattle and sheep are indispensable; Grain is indispensable; Clan is indispensable." From 1956 to 1958, the democratic reform movement was carried out in Liangshan region, slave-owning system was eliminated thoroughly, and clan system was abolished along with it. But until now, people's awareness of clan hasn't disappeared completely.



Talking about love through "visiting girls"

 

Most of the Was establish their marriage through free courtship. They usually get married at about 20, and the husband is usually older than the wife. But young fellows and girls can begin to take part in social intercourse and entertaining activities for talking about love since 15 or 16. This kind of courtship activity is commonly called "visiting girls".

"Visiting girls" is carried out by groups of people. Independent action is rare before the love relationship is formally determined. Men take the initiative all along in the activity.

Visiting is mainly done at night. It has no fixed site and is usually held in girl's home. When the night has fallen, fellows and girls gather in 3 or 5. Young fellows go to girl's home while playing three-stringed instrument and flute, where the girls are waiting for them. They all sing, dance and send tobacco and betel nut to one another. The men and women comb hair for one another, laugh and frolic, cast amorous glances and pour out their bosom feelings. After the fellow takes a fancy to some girl through visiting for many times, he will send some presents to her, such as bracelet, necklace, comb and scarf. If the girl doesn't return the presents back in several days or a period of time, he can firmly believe that the girl only loves him and is willing to be his lover. Girls refuse nobody and accept all presents without caring who is the sender. Because they think that if more fellows send presents to them, it shows their conditions like appearance and moral quality are better and they feel more glorious. Girls' parents will also feel happy and proud of their daughter if more people come to visit her. Presents will be returned back to the fellow soon if a girl doesn't want to develop deeper relationship with a guy. Some fellow grabs away the girl's adornments or scarf to indicate he is proposing marriage to her if he takes a fancy to some girl during visiting. At that moment, no matter the girl agrees or not, she will shout loudly and pretend to resist. If the girl doesn't go to ask for her adornments, it shows that she has accepted the proposing.

 

The guy and the girl who have decided their love relationship will separate from the groups and begin to contact each other alone. And then the fellow begins to ask matchmaker to propose marriage formally, and they get engaged and married.


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