Saturday, October 13, 2007

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

During my trip to Ningxia I visited the provincial museum in Yinchuan, which included an exhibit about Hui culture. The Hui are one of China's national minorities and Ningxia is their "autonomous region," a province in which an ethnic minority is theoretically given a lot of control in the provincial government (Tibet is also an autonomous region). There are plenty of Hui in Zhangye, and though quite assimilated into Han Chinese culture they are distinguished by the practice of Islam and the distinctive white hats worn by the men. Part of the fun of Chinese museums is reading the captions, which tend to have a very Chinese flavor to them:

And of the many pictures chosen to represent Hui culture, my favorite was definitely this one:


Matthew said...

The Chinese love emphasizing the importance of the minorities when they're portrayed in museums (or theme parks, like in Shenzhen). Just goes to show that there is some political correctness coming from the government.

Dan said...

Definitely. I've noticed this in other museums as well, a lot of patriotic portrayals of minorities that are a little suspect if you've ever actually talked to the people from the culture.