The Faces of China
After travelling all over China - Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Kunming, Yunnan province, Guiyang, Huangguoshu, Hong Kong, Putuoshan Island, Shizhuang, Rongchang (the region of the Miao ethnic minority), Zhaoxing, (home of the Dong peoples), and Lijiang and Dali - for a month, I am often asked what I think of China and its peoples.
It is quite difficult to say – even more difficult to write about it.
The Chinese way of thinking is a absolute mystery to me. I cannot even tell if it is because of a different logical process or maybe because of the Chinese languages being so different from the Indo-European ones.
For example: A Chinese person won’t talk about a "lost cause". He might say it’s like - “climbing a tree to catch fish.” (缘木求鱼, yuánmùqiúyú)
Are they really more concerned with “face” than other people? I cannot answer that either. What I did manage to gather from my observations – Most of the Chinese are very conservative - in both a traditional and conformist sense - their society is based on meritocratic ideals and they are extremely hard workers.
More than 1 billion people (that is 1,000,000,000 or one thousand millions – more than three times the population of the USA, or about seven times the population of Russia) live within the borders of China.
China officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups. The largest of these is the Han Chinese; other groups are the Tibetans (Zang), the Mongols, the Manchus (Man), the Nakhi (Naxi) and the Hezhen - which is one the smallest group.
There are five officially recognized religions in China; they are: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Although the Chinese people are allowed freedom of religion any religion other than the above mentioned five are deemed illegal. Another Chinese paradox!
About this Gallery
I have mentioned elsewhere that most of the Chinese in rural areas like to have their picture taken and will gladly pose and become part time models. This made taking pictures for this galley easier than usual.