Locations: Zhaoxing, Guizhou China (25° 54' 39 N, 109°10' 35 E)
Date: 18 April 2005; 11.45am
Camera: EOS 300D with kit lens
China officially recognised a total of 55 ethnic minority groups apart from the Han Chinese majority. These are distributed all over China, with more diversity in those provinces bordering other countries. For example, Yunnan which share borders with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam has the largest number of minority tribes, numbering in excess of 50. However, even though Guizhou does not have any national borders, it is home to the second largest diversity of ethnic tribes in China. Unlike Yunnan, the minority tribes in Guizhou are not often found in other countries, e.g. Dong and Buyi. Furthermore most of these ethnic groups live in isolated hillsides and along rivers deep in the hinterland, which are difficult to reach. This ensures that their culture and traditions to remain fairly intact till now. Very often, the minorities still go about their daily lives in their traditional costumes. This may not continue for long as China is developing so fast that these places are not "spared". In fact, tourism has reached these places as one can see from the incredible number of s0-called "minority tours" these days being advertised. Their culture and way of life is likely to change with all such developments and influences. In fact, one of the ugly side effects of tourism development in these places is the corruption of their values by materialism, as I have posted before regarding Chenyang. In any case, Zhaoxing was still a very warm and hospitable village when I visited in early 2005. I wonder how much it has changed since. If you have been there recently, please leave your comments and updates here about the village.