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Published: October 14th 2018
The first of October is the Chinese National Day that commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China. On that day, I took the chance to visit some other places around Guizhou province.
I went to Pingtang county, which is in the southern part of Guizhou province. The city itself is very very very unattractive but it is in a good location as most of the interesting places are scattered nearby the town.
The place I went to visit is called jing zhou jing qu, it used to be a lovely place some years ago but, as tourism arrived here as well, now much of its charm disappeared. When I entered the village, in the morning, the air was unexpectedly warm and it seemed to be on one of those tropical island you find in the southern part of Asia.
I was welcome by two women that worked there as local guides wearing traditional Bouyei clothes, very colourful.
"The Bouyei is an ethnic minority good at singing and dancing various folk songs and love songs, singing is also used as a way of communication within the clan, very interesting."
side of the road there were some ruins of a pagoda and plants were growing around it, now. Keeping walking I reached a bridge adorned with cables of little lights all over the place and red flags of China were waving high in the wind. A few kids running towards me and asked for some pictures, as it always happens when visiting places of this kind, in China. They wore light clothes slightly dirty and a cup, smiling at me all the times while I took a look of the surroundings. Not far away I heard some voices, women were preparing the stand for the wine tasting, because, in the village, there are a few wineries and thus they also have their local red wine. It looked very interesting and along the way a strong scent of garlic, dried fish, spices and vegetables pervaded the place.
The people were not so many and I could see some farmers with their dark clothes working the land, young mothers carried their kids straddling on their hips. On the right side of the path were some old and some new houses, the lady that brought me there kindly invited me
to take a look of the old school. The room was large, neat, made of stone with the small tables and chairs that were visibly worn out and on the wall was the red flag of the communism. There were other rooms with photographs hang on the wall, the photos were of various kind, some were beautiful landscapes of Pingtang county and some were black and white photos of different members of the communist party coming to visit the village half a century ago. The Lady also showed me what was now a museum with all the ancient object that were used in the past by the ethnic minorities of the area. There were lanterns, hay sits and sandals, leather clothes, clay pots, an old wooden waving machine with some silk clothes hanging on the wall, a mortar and a pestle and some other stuff stacked one on top of the other. In the adjacent room there was a table with a blue teapot and cups that was used as a sort of shrine to pray their gods. After finishing my short walk visiting the rooms, a lady, also dressed in traditional Bouyei clothes, asked me if I wanted to
jump on the shuttle bus for a quick tour around the area, and I accepted that, even though I hesitated for a moment because I always prefer to explore a place by walk because you can observe the surroundings and the people much better.
We drove through the vineyards, where some workers where still harvesting the grapes, the driver kindly asked me if I wanted to get off to taste a bit of grapes and I replied that it was ok, he assured me that the grapes was very sweet and worth of trying it. We just stopped in front of the row leading to the small stand where an old lady, smiling welcome us and offered some grapes to eat.
The driver was right, the grapes was extremely sweet, I admit that I did not expect that grapes to be so much tasty and good. The old lady generously gave me a whole bunch for free, this is what I appreciate most about the people of the village, their generosity toward the visitors.
After tasting the grapes, we got on the shuttle bus and continued our drive until we reached
a lake, some local people were fishing, tourists were taking pictures and there were also some eateries full of people eating barbecued meat. The place was nothing exceptional and after a short walk we headed back to the parking area and went to have lunch together. The food was abundant but bloody spicy, I tasted that because the people of the village are extremely gentle and I could not refuse that, in particular, I liked the stripes of potatoes with some chicken, there were also scrambled eggs with tomato, those were not spicy, a chicken soup, the unmissable rice, toufu and some other stir-fried dishes of meat and vegetables. A part the spiciness of the food, I have eaten very well and felt absolutely relaxed among some of the sweetest people some could ever meet up with.
Every year during the Chinese National Day, there is some local wine tasting, I could see a stand that was set up for that event and on it were numerous plastic bottles filled up with red wine.
I had tasted, previously, the grapes and now I could not do without tasting the wine as well and, as
I saw some Chinese tourists getting poured some wine in their cups I also tried it. It was just as sweet as the grapes I had before, probably too much sweet for me but it was ok.
It was not over yet, because a Bouyei young girl showed us some of her singing and dancing skills. She was really pretty with her long black hair tied up in a knot and delicate lineage. The girl wore black long pant and on top she had a sort of turquoise long sleeves shirt with little colourful flowers embroidered around the neck and shoulders and a kind of black apron in front with a red flower in the middle and a pattern of little flowers around it.
Another Bouyei girl put on some local traditional music, the people around the stage began to get excited and smiling. All in a sadden, the Bouyei girl commenced to dance. At first, it was not much a dance but a sort of swaying of the body, twisting hands and elbow. She bent the neck and rotating the elbows like a doll, but very quickly. I was, in particular, impressed about
the rotation of the hands that could almost touch the forearm.
The movements became quicker and she started to jump from one side to the other, bowing and then jumping up again with extraordinary agility. Then she started to slightly bend the knees, keeping her arms straight and moving her head to the rhythm of the music. The music started to intensify and the Bouyei girl continued to her hands and elbows, shaking the hips from side to the other. After that she started to sway the buttocks keeping the rhythm of the music. When the music ended there was a great clap of hands, people screamed something that I could not understand and the ambiance really looked heated up and joyful. I also was very excited by that incredible and alluring dance. Even though the place was not that traditional anymore, staring at that beautiful young girl moving in that sensual way made me appreciate even more the culture of these ethnic minorities. It is nice to see that after centuries, these people still observe their cultures and traditions and it seems that they want to continue that also in the future.
East has always fascinated me, looking at that young girl, at the way she danced, I can understand many things of the people in this part of the world. It is not easy to explain it but looking at her style, the way she proudly showed, to the people, all the vitality and passion that was transmitted to her by the old generations. When I come to visit some villages in this province of southwest China I always got remarkable experiences and this one was another of those great a beautiful experiences that I love to encounter while travelling in Asia.
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