After attending the international folk crafts expo in China delegates were treated to a trip out to sample some of the local culture. I was a bit surprised to find we needed a doctor and a policeman on our bus. Thankfully the doctor was not needed but the policeman had a lot of work. Whenever we hit a traffic jam he would jump out and clear the way for us.
The countryside is all beautiful, the farming is all human scale which means no straight lines, humans make field boundaries where the soil local climate and water dictate rather than where it is easy to drive a tractor, the results are always aesthetically pleasing.
Ploughing is done by rotovator or water buffalo we saw both in use.
As this lorry passed us we saw that not only was the back full of people in the middle of the back jammed amongst the people was a water buffalo.
This was interesting we saw a lot of homes with just the foundations, timber frame and roof. Some were fresh built and some looked to have weathered for a year or so. My guess is that the frames are put up green then allowed to shrink and move for a couple of years before the walls are filled in.
Moving a big steel sheet Chinese style.
Now here we are arriving at the Miao minority village. It is quite touristy but also quite fun. As one of our party commented “In our country we pay our old people to sit on the couch and watch TV, here they sing songs and entertain the visitors.” It was folk culture meets theatrical production. At the start of the visit this chap gave everyone a good cupful of strong rice spirit.
Three steps later these girls give you more poured from a horn. If you make the mistake of touching the horn it gets upended and you are left gulping lots of rice spirit, makes for a fun visit though.
More rice paddies. I would have liked to have more time to find out about traditional farming, our visit was sadly brief.
There were lots of traditional costumes for folk to dress up in. In the centre here is Carmen Padilla president of IOV the international folk art organisation.
This chap had singing birds in cages, when he brought two cages together they would sing at each other, presumably territorial singing.
By chance there was a frame raising going on. As with this process the world over lots of folk had turned out for the raising and there was a feast being prepared on the site.
What a great cooking set up
Next we were in for lunch and greeted by traditional music.
The view out of the window
I had to leave straight after lunch for a three hour drive to the airport, flying out of Beijing the next morning there were clear skies and the scenery is incredible. Mountains and deserts scenery like this for well over 2 hours traveling at 500 mph, that’s 0ver 1000 miles with only occasional signs of human activity.