After three months of investigation and writing on Qiang culture, now it is a good opportunity to reflect on what I learned from Qiang culture and maybe these learning will inspire readers to further dig into this mysterious ethnic group of China as well.
I always pertains a consistent interest into ethnic minority groups in China. I was born and raised as a “Han” group, which includes almost 92% of total Chinese population. “Han” people without any doubt dominates the culture and politics of this country, however, through my readings and talk with friends, I know there are some minority groups that play important roles in affecting china’s history and culture as well. Qiang is certainly one of the most important minority groups I am talking about.
Three years ago, I made my visit to Szechuan province, and I was shocked as I drived my rental car through Qiang regions located hundreds of miles away from Chen Du(biggest city in SzeChuan). I saw mighty mountains standing beside endless highways, countless stone cabins were established on the edges of these cliffs. I was amazed by lifestyle of Qiang people, then I dig deeper into their religion, their music, food, and customs etc.
What I learned most is Qiang people are humble, they are kind and they stick to their tradition inherited from ancestors. Living in cities, it is hard to imagine their lifestyles, how they respect and worship nature. What they believe and how they act are not complex, but they are original and pure. Unlike most “Han” people, they are not affected by pace of modern society and they represent spirit of simplicity and freedom.
I remembered one night, I lived on Ruo Er Gai grassland with a Qiang family in their yurt, there is no pollution and when nigh falls, I stood alone on gigantic grassland and looked upon the sky, I saw Milky way, that is most sacred and quietest moment in my life by far, that moment satisfies me so well and relieves so much stress which makes me want to stay at part of Qiang’s culture forever.
When I look back to all posts I wrote in this blog, I feel like there are much more needed to be done to protect and promote this culture, as I talked with one of my local friends living in SzeChuan, he said: “It will be such a pity if Qiang’s culture is diminished from Chinese culture and ignored by “Han” people.” To me, promoting qiang’s culture is not only a fun thing to do, it is also a mission to accomplish.