Minorities Distribution

Blessed with 56 minorities, China is a typical multinational country whose culture came about as a result of the fusion of the diversified ethnic groups. Nestled mostly on China's frontier, the minority people live amongst the Hans in harmony. Distinguished from the Hans in various aspects, such as costumes, cuisines, religions, etc, they maintain their own individual cultural practices. All these enhanced the diversification of the Chinese culture.

Most of the ethnic groups can be found in the Qinhai-Tibet Plateau and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the southwestern part of China. They are the Tibetans, Naxi Minority, Bai Minority, Yi Minority, Miao Minority and Tujia Minority, to name just a few.

The Yangtze River has its upper stretch in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau where the average altitude is over 4,000 meters (2.5 miles). This is where one can find the Tibetans most. Their population reaches 111,000 with the majority living in Tibet. As a distinct minority group, Tibetans distinguished themselves not only by living in 'the roof of the world' but also by their enigmatic culture. Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Medicine as well as Tibetan Opera etc. have fascinated an increasing number of people both at home and abroad.

Most Tibetans believe in Tibetan Buddhism, which is associated with almost all aspects of everyday life. Temples and monasteries are ubiquitous and devout pilgrims and worshipers abounds. Tibetans celebrate various festivals, most of which are religion based. They use their own language, created in the 7th century.

Naxi Nationality
With a population of 308,000, Naxi Nationality is found in the upper reach of the Jinsha River (a segment of Yangtze River in southwest China). Most Naxi people live in the northwest of the Yunnan Province with some in Sichuan Province and Tibet. The Naxis are good singers and dancers. Traditional activities and festivals are normally carried out in the ocean of songs and dances. It is also worth mentioning that the Dongba Scrolls recorded in hieroglyphic a thousand years ago has been a valuable material for the research of ancient Naxi culture, as well as their language.

Bai Nationality
Bai nationality is among the most influential ethnic groups in China. With a total number of 1.5 million, most of them are living in the Dali City of the Yunnan Province. This group enjoys a very long history which brought up the notable Erhai Culture. It is known that the land they are living was once the capital of several kingdoms, such as Nanzhao and Dali. There are thus precious historical relics that can still be found.

The Bai people honors white color in particular. Matched by red or blue overall or pants, traditional clothes of Bai nationality are mostly white in color, like white cap, white shirt or pants and white shoes, giving it a sense of simplicity and elegance. The overall appearance of the residential houses is also white and they follow a typical layout of 'three rooms with one screen wall' that is richly decorated with flowers and plants.

Yi Nationality
Yi nationality has a population of about 7.8 million, with the majority living in the valleys of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau where the Jinsha River finds its way east. In the picturesque mountainous area, villages dotted the thick forests and along the river. Yi people love singing and dancing and this plays an important role in their daily life. It is also the way men and women express their love for each other. The Torch Festival, which is celebrated on every June 24th or 25th of the lunar calendar each year, is the grandest of ceremonies of the Yi people.

Miao Nationality
The Miao ethnic group can be found in provinces such as Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan and Hubei etc. The Miao ethnic group is notable for their most decorated traditional clothes, which varies in different regions. A woman's dress can be forty layers and luxuriously decorated. They live on the farmland but handicrafts are their specialties. Their embroidery works, brocade, batik technique and paper-cutting, etc. have been gaining popularity both at home and abroad.

Tujia Nationality
Along the boundary of the Hunan Province, Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province are the Tujia ethnic group. They live in wooden houses. Traditional clothes are made of self-weaved cloths. Spring Festival is of utmost importance to the Tujia people.

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