The Singer With One Leg – 爾瑪阿依

爾瑪阿依, a Qiang singer, was born in Sichuan, 1988, and her Chinese name is 张扬. She like being called “阿依” because she think the name can bring happiness to people around.

(Picture resource: baike.m.sogou.com)

When 阿依 was three years old, she hurt her right leg badly and it had to be amputated. Since then, 阿依 became very unconfident. She never talked loudly at school, until her got praised by her school teacher for singing a Qiang song in class, and that was the first time she felt confident.

When 阿依 graduated from high school, she became a teacher in kindergarten, but not for too long. Instead of staying in Sichuan and working as a kindergarten teacher, 阿依 decided to join an art group for disabled and amputee and started her carrier as a singer. Her voice was appreciated by all the audience when 阿依 started to sing.

(阿依 performing singing with her left leg in a high heel shoe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usn-oT5XO2s)

(Picture resource: www.chinadp.net.cn)

Besides her carrier, 阿依 also like sports. She does yoga, plays badminton. 阿依’s physical condition doesn’t stop her from trying many things she wants to do. In 2011, she tried to wear high heels with her light foot for the first time, and she liked it.

阿依 is considered a brave and beautiful singer that she is now called “the eastern Venus” by her fans on the internet. She always be positive and is willing to take any challenge in her life even though she is physically disadvantaged compared to average, and 阿依’s attitude of life has affected many of her audience.

(Picture resource: www.shangc.net)

-Culture fanatic-

 

 

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Qiang Singer – 爾瑪娜澤: Voice of Heavan

爾瑪娜澤, now approximately 27 years old, is a Qiang singer in Sichuan. She is a good dancer too.

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(Picture resource: www.cdchenchuan.com)

According to the music teacher of 爾瑪娜澤, 爾瑪娜澤 is a woman with voice of “miracle” – it brings happiness to people around. In 2003, before starting as a professional singer, 爾瑪娜澤 lived in a suburban area that her music teacher had to walk for about ten kilometers after driving in order to visit 爾瑪娜澤’s home. The teacher said that when he met 爾瑪娜澤, the singing voice of 爾瑪娜澤 cured his tiredness, and he enjoyed listening to the voice.

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(Picture resource: www.minzu56.net)

Besides singing, 爾瑪娜澤 also taught Qiang language, the history and culture of Qiang at Southwest University for Nationalities in China, and her students were from different countries (mostly from South Korea).

When 爾瑪娜澤 went to Chengdu with her teacher and firstly started her carrier as a singer, the local audience didn’t appreciate the clothes of Qiang and the way Qiang people sings. Yet, after 爾瑪娜澤’s effort at combing Qiang’s style with local tastes of music and clothing, she finally won the audience’s applause.

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(Picture resource: www.news.cn)

Following her teacher’s advice, 爾瑪娜澤 also participated the entrance test of Sichuan Conservatory of Music, and became the first Qiang undergraduate student at the school.

爾瑪娜澤 didn’t grow up in a rich family. She went to Chengdu, bringing her younger sister with her, working part-time to become financially independent. And she got into college without going to cram schools (most Chinese students do). To Qiang people, 爾瑪娜澤 is not only a extraordinary singer, but also a strong, independent, and mature young woman.

-Culture fanatic-

Qiang Actress – Rrmea Yina

祝福北京羌族使者评选 性格率真的天仙妹妹尔玛依娜

(Picture resource: 2008.sina.com.cn)

Rrmea Yina (“尔玛依娜” in Qiang’s langauge), borned on June 9th, 1985, is a Qiang actress in Sichuan. Yina’s chinese name is “余红艳” (Sorry still no translation in English), and according to Yina, her first name “Rrmea” means a kind of dance in Qiang.

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(Picture resource: www.360doc.com)

Yina likes dancing and singing, and was already an dancing performer before 2003. In 2004, when 19 years old, she was awarded in a dance contest in Sinchuan. The next year, she started to become famous because people posted her performance on the internet. Also, at the same year, her three songs – 《尔玛吉玛》, 《温暖如绵》, and 《咂酒歌》 – was released (now I think you know how I feel when I am see something English words without translation in Chinese. Still no translation).

(Video url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZf7T-3RlN8)

In 2013, she was casting in a Chinese TV series called “抗日奇俠 – 終極任務” (a series about the war against Japan when Japanese invaded China in 1900s) as one of the main actresses.

(Series trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk9k598Is-s&list=PLF01hc3k5VEscgA2jntdasfVcnqIhmMo5)

Yina said that she considered herself a ordinary person – with a dream to follow. Right now she is still an active singer and actress, maybe we will see more her songs, albums, or movies she participates in in the future.

(I will try to find information about more Qiang singers or actors/actress, this ethnic group is really a minority in China.)

-Culture fanatic-

 

Yun Duo (雲朵) – Modern Qiang Singer

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(Picture resource: ent.qq.com)

Despite of being a minority group in China, Qiang still doesn’t lack talented people. Yun Duo (雲朵) is a modern singer from Qiang, and is one of the popular singers in China. Her real name is “谢春芳” (sorry again no  translation in English), born on February 7th, 1987, in  Sichuan, China, and started learning singing in 2004. Yun Duo made a song in 2008 about Sichuan earthquake, and first album in 2011 called “Yun Duo” (yes, exactly the same as her name). If you trandslate “雲朵” into English, it means “cloud”.

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(Picture resource: ent.qq.com)

“倔强”(Stubborn) is one of her popular song, from her second album with the same name, released in May, 2013, and Yun Duo had a concert performing the songs in the album in Beijing.

She also won an award in “Chinese Golden Melody Awards 2013” with her song “牧羊人”(Shepherd).

Her personal motto is: “Happiness is doing whatever you like and enjoy it.” You can also find her other songs here.

 

-Culture fanatic-

Goatskin Drum

(Picture resource: baike.baidu.com)

Goatskin Drum is a typical Qiang musical instrument. It’s made with goat skin – obviously, and Qiang people perform dancing while using this instrument at the same time, especially for festivals and ceremonies. Usually, a goatskin drum is round-shaped, wooden-structured, and about 38-40 centimeters in diameters. There is also another type – fan-shaped drum, iron-structured – also covered with goat skin.

(Picture resource: www.hwjyw.com)

Despite of having long history, the drum itself and the drum dance mostly still remain the same. There are plenty of different ways to perform drum beating and dancing. So far, more than tens of ways and songs have been collected, with cheerfulness and excitements.

Qiang Drum & Dance

(www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWWavOxKpKs)

There is also a story about the drum – originally, there was a Chinese god named “天神阿巴木纳” (sorry no translation in English) and the god had a lot of scriptures. One day, a goat ate all of the god’s scriptures (is that the reason why goat is the symbol of Satan?), and there was a snub-nosed monkey telling 天神阿巴木纳 to kill the goat and use its skin to make a drum. If the god did that it would make the scripture contents come out of his mouth automatically every time when he beat the drum.

 

-Culture fanatic-