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Stilted Parades and Dong Villages

November 4

Breakfast at hotel, then add our laundry to the luggage and take off in the bus for another Miao village. Later find out that, because of the power outage yesterday, our laundry is “damp.”. This means that my blue jeans may be dry by Thanksgiving.

Stopped at another interesting market in “old Chongjiang.” On our way back to the bus, we ran into a parade of young children in traditional Dong costume, some on stilts and some playing horns (lushengs) swaying back and forth, promoting a festival that will take place in a few days in a Dong village. Took photos in market and of parade that I never would have taken before this trip.

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Drive along the Pearl River to the Dong village of Yingtan. Lee speaks of his growing up. Did not speak Chinese until 12 years old. He spoke Miao. Was being trained to be a shaman, but his father did not want that, so he was taken to the town where his father worked. There a teacher whose parents were suspected to be American spies took a liking to him and he began to learn Chinese and English.

Youngtan is a very nice looking village. Lee explains that the government has spent money to retain it as a traditional village. After walking around town for a couple hours, we stop and have a lunch of spicy noodles and beer in the town drum tower, where we mix with the old men and little kids from the village. The drum tower is the center of the village, where the beating of a drum heralded a significant event or danger to the people.

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We move on to another Dong village, this one not supported specially by the government, and the contrast is rather stark. This one has unpaved streets, and the buildings are much more run down. The people are very friendly, though, and we have a good time walking around and photographing for about an hour and a half. Nevada becomes great friends with a woman in her seventies, who invites her for dinner. Sheila rounds up about twenty little kids in a big room and has them singing songs, repeating lines after she sings them.

In general, there is not too much to write about these villages. We just see people and how they live, which is quite fascinating.

The drive to our hotel, mercifully, is on a real highway. Staying at the same hotel we stayed at several nights ago in Dongjiam. Bused out to a restaurant for what may have been the best Chinese meal we’ve had. Getting used to the fare and more adept at handling the chop sticks, but may head straight for Five Guys when I get home.

Finished downloading and looking at photos, and completing today’s blog entry.

3 comments to Stilted Parades and Dong Villages

  • Wendy

    Really cool angles, Dadz. Poor little ducklings . . . I assume they’re not going home to be anyone’s pet. Please get contact info. for anyone who might be in the mood for a little mu shu guinea pig!
    Love,
    W.

  • Pat Hemmens

    I’m glad you told us to go back and look at this one again for the additional photographs! Love the kids on stilts and playing with tops (remember doing that as a child).

  • Eve

    Love the addional photos , especially the very tall room with tha man asleep on the bench!

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