China’s 56 Ethnic Groups/ les 56 groupes ethniques de Chine


copy and paste from neatorama's blog post:

The vast majority (>90%) of Chinese are Han Chinese. The remainder are distributed among 55 other ethnic groups. This diversity was awkwardly displayed during the opening ceremonies of the last Olympic games, when a parade of 56 children representing those groups was later revealed to have been comprised of 56 Han Chinese children wearing the ethnic clothing of the other groups.

Now there is a photoessay which appears to correct that gaffe. All of the ethnic groups are portrayed in professionally composed group portraits, with the subjects wearing traditional dress and often carrying traditional instruments or tools. Pictured above as an example are the ethnic Kirgiz; the others are at the link. It’s an impressive photo gallery.

Click HERE to see the gallery


copié/collé de puis le post de neatorama:

la vaste majorité des chinois sont des Hans, le reste est composé des 56 autres ethnies. On a pu en avoir un aperçu pendant la cérémonie d'ouverture des derniers JOs à Beijing, avec la parade des 56 enfants tous Hans mais portant les costumes des autres groupes.

Voici une galerie de portraits des toutes les ethnies qui composent la Chine, en costumes traditionnels, souvent avec les instruments de musiques et/ou des outils. En illustration, à droite, l'ethnie YUGUR, cliquez sur le lien pour accéder aux autres photos, dans la galerie. Ça vaut vraiment le coup d'oeil.

Cliquez ICI

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “China’s 56 Ethnic Groups/ les 56 groupes ethniques de Chine

  1. pfelelep

    Some people asked Waiyim: "it's sooooo sad that Chinese people doesn't wear their traditional costume anymore. Is it the Chinese government that force them to wear jeans?"…she replied: "I thought jeans came from US? But I agree, also why do French people doesn't dress like Louis XIV's fashion anymore? Is it the French government that force them to wear jeans?" 😀

  2. PainterWoman

    Wow! The traditional clothing is fantastic and beautiful! Also loved seeing the musical instruments, woven rugs and baskets.

  3. claudeb

    Pure beauty. I especially enjoyed seeing traditional costumes, or parts of costumes, that resemble those in Greece, Romania or Hungary. Guess we're all humans after all. 😛

  4. Liu

    J'adore 🙂 Je l'ai mis sur mon blog aussi :p

  5. Aprilsnow

    Beautiful pictures and costumes, in China we say the 56 ethnic groups are "our big family" (大家庭). I may borrow your link to make a post, hope you don't mind. Thank you! 🙂

  6. EasyD44

    I found this via Aprilsnow, good article and photos! I remember learning about them when I was in China, though it is a pity that many Han Chinese look down on them, perceiving them as inferior to Han culture. It is also very difficult fo them to get jobs outside their ethnic area. I have tried Uygur food…it is very different from traditional Chinese and Cantonese food.

  7. EasyD44

    Hi Aprilsnow, I may have mis-spoke, I was not intending to say that "Han" or other groups are against inter-racial or inter-cultural marriage, I have no problem with that. My only point is that through recent history, for example in modern history in China in the 1940s and 1950s, as China expanded and claimed new territory and created the boundaries of what we know of as China today, they brought the large population of "HAN" Chinese with them to these new expanded territories. The government favored the growth of these populations, and the inter-marriage of "HAN" peoples with locals. IMHO, I feel this places more focus on developing and growing "HAN" culture as the main culture of China, and ignoring other cultures. Also, with the majority (if not all) of the people in power being of "HAN" decent, this is a dangerous pattern that can breed a sense ofsuperiority for those who are HAN. I have nothing against the HAN personally, just the dominance of the large HAN majority concerns me, thats all. Hope this clears it up 🙂

  8. Aprilsnow

    Hi EasyD44, I am not sure I understand what you said, could you please give some examples? such as "many Han Chinese look down on them" and "perceiving them as inferior to Han culture". Social economic gap exists in China (and everywhere) and is getting much worse in the past two decades since China's economy went through relentless blind privatization, the government did a terrible job. China was and still is to a large degree an agricultural nation, people were/are bound to the land they live on for thousands of years, this is very different from the developed nations such as America where you have only 4% of people working in agriculture. In China, 60-70% (used to be over 85%) of the population are living in countryside, generally less educated and informed than city people. Meanwhile China has a huge population, it makes it more difficult to have a job living in cities, but in this capitalist market economic transition time, everyone wants to get ahead, so the problems come. Not only people in ethnic area have difficulties to find jobs so are rural "peasants" everywhere. In general people living in far away rural areas are less and slower "getting ahead" in this "free" economy. For example, the coastal regions are developed much faster than the western mountain areas. The government did try to economically help the ethnic areas but the capitalist greediness has an upper hand.I am not saying there is no problem but I am afraid what you said is not racial related. So much for now before I know exactly what you mean by cultural superiority or inferiority. In China we may not emphasize cultural diversity as much as in America, as a result, less awareness of it but our traditional value is there, for example, no religion or organization would be against things such as inter-racial marriage, in the past or now, things just come in a natural way. Glad you brought up this discussion. 🙂

  9. Aprilsnow

    Hi Easy! I am afraid you are misinformed on this issue which I am not surprised. 1) China didn't expand its territory in 1940s and 50s if you examine the real history, taking Tibet as an example, till this day, no government in the world including American government can deny the fact that Tibet has been part of China long time ago, in fact long before Europeans founded USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Let's take a look of an official ROC map (Republic of China, i.e. nationalist government of China before 1949 and now in Taiwan), you can see the Chinese territories used to be larger than PRC now. I can also show you China maps in ancient time. 2) Han Chinese didn't try to overtake the local population. Today's Han population in Tibet is less than 12 percent (I will find the definite number if you want) and historically many Tibetans also live in other provinces adjacent to Tibet such as Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan, guizhou etc. Tibet enjoyed the most government money in comparison to other ethnic groups for culture preserving. Tibetan and other ethnic groups' dancing and singing are alwasy a big part of Chinese new year celebration. Education in Tibet has both Mandarin and Tibetan languages. In China we have strict population control policy – one child per family, but Tibetans and all other ethnic groups can have as many children as they want, Han Chinese don't have a word to complain, this is only one of many examples to show. Inter-racial marriage comes naturally, have nothing to do with government preference, no policy or incentives to promote. One of my relatives went to Tibet as a doctor for 5 years to teach and treat patients. If you understand how Tibet looked like under Dalai Lama's rule, you would probably agree Tibet needs help. Tibet is not a museum, it needs to develop, people need to have a better living, Han Chinese went there to help should not be interpreted as an "invasion". Meanwhile Tibet as a frontier of China's territory of course China will have its own strategic concern in terms of defending the country, this is also where international geopolitical interest comes in. In the west, Tibet stories are mostly told by Dalai Lama, but who is he really? He ruled Tibet like a king and he lost his privilege of possessing serfs after 1950. Do we prefer a theocracy rule in Tibet in the name of culture preservation? Here is a video clip of a French senator talking about Tibet. Chinese culture is not all Han culture, it absorbs all the time, each province/area has its special things but all sharing and melting with each other, if you go to Tibet you would see by yourself, it's not dominated by so called Han culture. Here is a video clip from two Americans who have been to Tibet. :)As a refernce, reference only, here is a Chinese government site about Tibet, its Tibet History section from time to time is blocked or sabotaged in the west especially during the peak of Tibet riot a year ago. Mao Zedong and Dalai Lama(right)

  10. claudeb

    Originally posted by Aprilsnow:

    China didn't expand its territory in 1940s and 50s if you examine the real history, taking Tibet as an example, till this day, no government in the world including American government can deny the fact that Tibet has been part of China long time ago, in fact long before Europeans founded USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    No offense, but that's not a good reason. Imagine Romania trying to reclaim territories from Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria, just because those territories used to be part of our country a long time ago. Even if we had the military force to do it, that would be completely wrong. History is history, and there are plenty of wars and international grudges as it is.

  11. EasyD44

    I thank you Aprilsnow, for such a detailed response. I do not know much about Tibet, but even if they were part of China in the past, doesn't mean they HAVE to be part of China today, or in the future. Felix made a good point. It would be like saying, the USA was once part of the British Empire, so the British have a historical right to America. But my previous point applies to lands like Inner-Mongolia. Inner Mongolia became a Chinese Autonomous Republic in 1947. AND, I know that you will claim it is Chinese because the majority of the population is Chinese. BUT!! That is only because immigration to that area from the Chinese was made easier because they were now part of China, and thus, many millions of Chinese went into that region, becoming the majority, and thus bolstering the claim that Inner-Mongolia is "Chinese" land. This has happened a lot in eastern Europe and central Asia. It is called "Population Transfer" it is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion. The Turkish government has done it in central Asia, pumping a lot of Turkish people into an area, and then claiming that area is really Turkish land. I have now problem with Chinese people, just that, you can not claim a piece of land is yours just because there are a lot of a certain population.

  12. Aprilsnow

    This reply to Felix also applies to eastD44's first part comment above.Originally posted by claudeb:

    No offense, but that's not a good reason. Imagine Romania trying to reclaim territories from Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria, just because those territories used to be part of our country a long time ago. Even if we had the military force to do it, that would be completely wrong. History is history, and there are plenty of wars and international grudges as it is.

    Thank you for raising another question, your quote stopped in the middle of my whole point, I was not just talking about the long history of Tibet being part of China, the ROC map (immediately following your quote) is very recent history, right before the People's Republic of China (i.e. current government). The reason I showed this map is because people often perceive the "communist China" took over Tibet, which is untrue. Tibet was brought into Chinese territory by Mongols (Genghis Khan) which conquerred China and Tibet as well as large areas in central Asia in early 1200s, when the Mongol Empire fragmented one of its regime (Mongol Khanate) united China which include Tibet and formed China's Yuan Dynasty in 1271 and they became assimilated by Chinese culture, since Yun Dynasty Tibet has never been an independent nation like Ukraine, Hungary or Bulgaria, since then Tibet has never been recognized as a nation internationally either, there is no reclaiming issue here. Let me show you a recent historical record – "on May 2, 1940, Lin Sen, President of the Nationalist Government, issued a decree consenting to the succession of Lhamo Dondrup as the 14th Dalai Lama and appropriating 400,000 yuan to meet the expenses of his enthronement."That said even Dalai Lama's title had to be approved by the Chinese central government (led by nationalists) in 1940. In 1949, the nationalists were defeated in Chinese civil war, the communist party took over the power and established The People's Republic of China. In 1950s, the central government abolished the serfdom and slavery system in Tibet and distributed land to the vast majority of poor Tibetan serfs (95% of the population). This is a social structure change, a part of Chinese revolution, not territory claiming or reclaiming. Those feudal lords who lost land and powers staged a bloody killing of almost all new government officials including Tibetans in Tibet so the central government sent in troops and crashed them. Advised and helped by foreign powers those feudal lords went on exile and claimed "China occupied Tibet" and started this recent so called "Tibet Independent Movement". This is the history that the mainstream media doesn't inform people. The French senator's video clip in my last comment also pointed this out clearly. I hope I have answered your question. Thank you. 🙂

  13. Aprilsnow

    Originally posted by EasyD44:

    But my previous point applies to lands like Inner-Mongolia. Inner Mongolia became a Chinese Autonomous Republic in 1947. AND, I know that you will claim it is Chinese because the majority of the population is Chinese. BUT!! That is only because immigration to that area from the Chinese was made easier because they were now part of China, and thus, …..

    I am surprised at what you said here. 1st, territory is not governed by population immigration but international laws and treaties (except in war situation), for example, Hong Kong has to be returned to China after 99 years of British rule. 2nd, Let me show you a Qing Dynasty (China's last dynasty) Map here: Can you see Mongolia right there on China's map? Now let me show you a Mongolian ruler's picture from wikipedia, he dressed completely in Qing Dynasty official costume wearing a Qing Dynasty official hat: Now let me show you the China map of Republic of China (ROC) from wikipedia again (This is after the Qing Dynasty):Can you see Mongolia is right there again? Both maps above are BEFORE The People's Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949. Now let me show you a Map of the People's Republic of China (PRC), i.e. the current China:Can you see a part of Mongolia originally on China's map, we called outer Mongolia is gone? the part of Mongolia was taken away from China when China was war torn and no power to defend it under the nationalist government, not the other way around. The remaining part is what we called inner Mongolia, remained and is still part of China. Originally posted by EasyD44:

    I have now problem with Chinese people, just that, you can not claim a piece of land is yours just because there are a lot of a certain population.

    Ironically, does this apply to America? to native Indians? ;)I hope I have given you enough evidence above to show China didn't take Mongolia by immigration or so called "population transfer", there is a long interacting history between Mongolians and Chinese. Thank you.

  14. EasyD44

    I certainly thank you for your plentiful maps, Aprilsnow, I have not seen some one produce soo many! As far as Tibet, the French Senator's interview was interesting, yet, I do not know enough to agree with either side. All I will say on Tibet is, why did China take it upon IT'S SELF to free Tibetans from serfdom and remove the theocracy and previous government? Who gave them the right to do that? Change should happen with in the country/territory, even if the two places share a common heritage, if those people want an end to serfdom, they should rise up and fight to end it. Not have a foreign power come in and tell them what to do. As far as Inner-Mongolia, your maps are colorful, but just because it has been part of the Qing dynasty, doesn't automatically make it Chinese territory. " I am surprised at what you said here. 1st, territory is not governed by population immigration but international laws and treaties (except in war situation). 2nd, I am afraid you have not studied Chinese history or Mongolia history carefully. Let me show you a Qing Dynasty (China's last dynasty) Map "First, I never claimed the territory was not governed by laws.Second, here is a question, Inner-Mongolia was under Qing rule from 1644 – 1911, that is around 200 years, right? How MANY Chinese immigrants do you think came to that region over that period? I'd say enough to significantly influence the culture so that your ruler looks like the average Qing man. What I am trying to state, is that over time, when people migrate to a region, ESPECIALLY a region that has become part of another nation, they mix with the native people, and influence them and their culture. In that period of the Qing dynasty, how much influence do you think Qing culture had on them?? You CAN NOT be under rule for over 200 years and NOT be influenced by your rulers, it is impossible. I enjoy this discussion very much, thank you for continually responding. 🙂

  15. Aprilsnow

    1) If you continue to assert Chinese central government rule over Tibet's social system as a "foreign power" intervention after I showed you all these historical evidence, then there is no point to argue. Let me tell you, Chinese central government not only abolished the serfdom in Tibet but all warlords and land lords in other provinces and areas and conducted extensive land reform – distributing land to poor people, this was part of Chinese revolution policies if you understand Chinese history, this is NOT a foreign power intervention, this is different from US in Iraq. 2) Please read my last comment carefully, I didn't just give you Qing Dynasty map but also ROC (1911-1949) and PRC (1949- ) maps, all the way till today. It's a continued history, not just 200 years ago, China ruled the entire Mongolia (inner and outer) in Qing Dyansty, not just inner Mogolia, please read carefully. I think I should stop here and let you read, there is a huge gap in terms of understanding Chinese history, but I am not surprised. Thank you and have a nice weekend. 🙂

  16. Aprilsnow

    I am afraid we are talking about two different things here. First of all, can Dalai Lama and the so called "Tibet independent Movement" people, i.e. the old ruling fedual lords and their next generations who have never set a foot on Tibetan soil and speak perfect English with British or American or Indian accent represent the majority of Tibetan people living in Tibet, living in China? Can they? 2nd, do you think the serfs who were liberated from slavery system would want to go back to Dalai Lama's rule and call for Tibet Independence? If you watch the vidoe clip of the two Americans who have been to Tibet (see my previous comment) you would see that Tibetans' homes are still hanging Mao Zedong's pictures. They respect him very much. 3rd, even Dalai Lama himself now said he is not seeking independence but "autonomy".

  17. claudeb

    Aprilsnow, I think you may be missing our point. Let me give you an example. For most of its history, the present-day Republic of Moldova was actually part of Romania (and before that, part of Moldova, one of our country's historical provinces). It was occupied in 1940, and became a Soviet Republic after World War 2 (simplifying a little here). By your logic, we should have taken it back with tanks after the 1989 revolution. Well, we didn't. It became an independent state. That's what the Moldovans wanted, and we respected their will. Did it hurt our feelings? Oh yeah. Was it a mistake? Hell no.

  18. anonymous

    Anonymous writes: I do agree with AprilSnow. Although I feel strongly about the issue, I can't put my feelings into words because I'm not very good. All I can say is that whatever the region of Tibet and China do is their own internal problems, I can't seem to see why western politicians are so interested. If they got the time to be sticking their noses into other countries' problems, I would think they have solved all of their own problems, to which I doubt. As for Felix Pleşoianu's comment, I do not see a link between "respecting" and "surrendering your rightful land." If you had a backyard, but you never planted anything in it and it was your neighbor who took care of it. Would you be willing to just give it to him because "you respect his will"? I don't see why giving up what you rightfully own is an act of "respect" and I certainly do think you're just trying get away from the point here.

  19. claudeb

    Originally posted by anonymous:

    If you had a backyard, but you never planted anything in it and it was your neighbor who took care of it. Would you be willing to just give it to him because "you respect his will"?

    Maybe not, but according to the law my neighbor may be able to claim the garden after a few years. Would you call that unfair? After all, I ignored it and he took care of it. For years. Using his own time, energy and money. What do you think the right to physical property is based on, abstract principles?

  20. EasyD44

    That is an interesting way of putting things into context…but I also understand Felix's legal point. It is a battle between historical precedent and legal right..

  21. anonymous

    Anonymous writes:How CIA helped Dalai Lama to end up in exilehttp://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12804It is widely believed that the Dalai Lama fled Tibet once Chinese troops gained control over the region. Actually, these two events have nine years between them.Tibet’s self-proclaimed independence in 1913, after the fall of Qing Empire of China, was never recognised legally by any country. So, once China sorted out the Civil War, it saw it only as natural to claim the territories succeeded from the state of Qing.Once the Chinese People’s Liberation Army forces defeated Tibet’s army on October 7, 1950, Beijing started a campaign of re-integrating Tibet into the People’s Republic of China.The US became interested in the region as a new ground to counter Communist China. It promised to encourage and support Tibetan resistance to Communist control and provide financial help to Tibetan insurgents, says Peter Harclerode in his book, “Fighting Dirty: The Inside Story of Covert Operations From Ho Chi Minh to Osama Bin Laden”.For the US State department, the Dalai Lama was of more use in active opposition to Beijing. That is why the CIA actively encouraged the Tibetan leader to go into exile to any nearby state, such as India, Ceylon or Thailand, to become the symbol of Tibet resistance to Communist China.In 1951 the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, preferred to stay in Lhasa and formally accepted “The 17 Point Plan” peace treaty uniting Tibet and the People’s Republic of China.Three years later the Dalai Lama was elected vice-chairman of the Chinese People's National Assembly, thus entering China’s ruling elite.In 1956 Tibetan tribal alliance “National Army of the defenders of the Faith” tried to urge locals to fight Chinese and asked Dalai Lama to give a “spiritual support and leadership” for the resistance, which he refused.The alliance nevertheless obtained aid from the CIA without the Dalai Lama’s knowledge. Six Tibetans were handpicked to be trained in using small weapons, demolition, mine-laying and sabotage at the American military base on Saipan Island so they could participate in a secret CIA operation codenamed “Saint Circus”.In autumn 1957, two of these freshly-trained Tibetans were parachuted in to Tibet to deliver a secret message from the US government to the Dalai-Lama, offering assistance if His Holiness requested any. Again, the Dalai Lama turned it down.Then, in early 1958, CIA agents in Lhasa delivered a new secret message from the US urging the Dalai Lama to make a formal request for American assistance, which he declined despite the fact it would have been backed by the newly-formed Chushi Gangdrug (Four Rivers, Six Mountains) tribal alliance. The Dalai Lama was consistent in avoiding foreign help to spare his compatriots from a possible war with China – but he did not succeed.On June 16, 1958, Chushi Gangdrug’s military wing formed a National Volunteer Defence Army which began a full-scale insurgent warfare a whole year before the famous Tibetan uprising started (on March 10, 1959).Also in 1958, the CIA began a new training programme for future Tibetan guerillas. Codenamed “The Colorado program” it lasted for seven years at Camp Hale in Colorado and neighboring the Butts Field Air Force Base. No fewer than 200 Tibetans were trained during these years.At the same time, the CIA made sure the Tibetans were armed by dropping weapons and equipment for their guerillas.In total, from July 1959 till May 1960, about 362 tonnes of weapons, ammunition and equipment – as well as 85 trained guerilla warfare specialists – were dropped into Tibet,The US State Department closed down the Tibet project fifteen years later when, in 1974, it officially ceased to aid the Tibetan government in exile.Following the 1959 uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India where he stays in exile to this day.

  22. anonymous

    Anonymous writes:State the so called "legal right" in legal language and show us the legal context. I recommend you two gentlemen, Felix Pleşoianu and EasyD44, go to Google do a search for "CIA Dalai Lama" to find the untold reasons behind the Tibet issues. Also, go to youtube do a search "CIA Dalai Lama", there are even former CIA officers talk about their Tibet operations.Why had CIA financed and supported Dalai Lama?What legal rights do CIA have?

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