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Qaidam culture shines in Qinghai, NW China

Source: Global Times  [2009-07-21 15:33:38]


A singer performs at the Qaidam Culture Festival. [Photo: Global Times]

The 2th Qaidam Culture Festival that began July 20 in Delingha city in Northwest China's Qinghai Province.

The annual cultural event on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau is gaining in popularity and attracting more and more participants.

The Qaidam festival is a celebration of local culture and color.

"The festival is all about folk art exposure and cultural exchange. It can promote the local travel economy as well. Many people consider western China as a poor and backward place, but they know little about the local culture," said Bayaer, director of Delingha's publicity department.

"We also want to introduce a real Qinghai to the world, displaying that we have achieved great progress."

Among the eight main activities of the festival, the opening ceremony yesterday was brimming with color and celebration. Traditional folk songs, dances and local drum performances were full of spirit and passion.

"I know nothing about music theory, but I sing with my heart," said Jia Na, a famous folk singer.

"A teacher from Beijing used to describe my songs as extremely pure and unsophisticated. I attribute it to my early life as a child cowherd, during which I learnt how to sing a song as freely as I can."

To Jia Na, the festival not only provides a stage but also an opportunity to exchange points of view with many other musicians and people from different cultures.

"Previously, people outside the province regarded Qinghai as a remote and mysterious place, but if people get closer to it, they will find its unique cultural charm. However, there is still room for improvement. If the festival was not held in the city center, but on the prairies where the real customs lie, people could learn more about our culture," Jia explained.

Another highlight of the festival is the self-drive and motorcycle tour from August 19 to 25. The adventure begins in Beijing and ends at Kunlun Mountain via Xining, Qinghai Lake, the Loess Plateau and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The trip makes the most of a host of interesting attractions along the south Silk Road. Enjoying the fame of following Marco Polo's route, the journey is always popular among foreign adventurers and travelers.

"We promote the self-drive and motorcycle tour based on the geographical advantage of Qinghai Province. Our purpose is to promote the public image of the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture by combining sports and travel together," Bayaer explained.

A folk culture activity series has been scheduled for Haixi Prefecture. The outdoor performance Dancing Haixi, local handicrafts and art exhibitions will all be held during the summer.

The Naadam festival, regarded as the most grand nationality festival among Mongolian people, is also underway.

The most traditional festival among Mongolian people, Naadam is by far the most popular and the competition is fierce. Three traditional sports, Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery, attract the best sportsmen in the region.

Nadaam is held on lush prairies and celebrations feature athletes, horse riders, dancers and musicians all joining together.

Tens of thousands of herdsmen from across the country gather for the event to watch the participants execute their precise riding skills, archery talent and wrestling moves, all to the beat of traditional drums and waving flags.

"As an ethnic melting pot for centuries, Qinghai Province is a mix of Han, Tibetan, Mongolian and other ethnic minorities. Using a variety of folk cultures as its theme and background, we want to offer a stage for Haixi Prefecture to showcase its unique charm. Haixi is facing a lack of exposure and what we are doing is trying to improve that," Bayaer explained.


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