Zhuang writing

An article from Xinhua discusses writing in Zhuang. The Zhuang, China’s largest “national minority” group, live mainly in Guangxi. Their language is written with the Roman alphabet.

The first paragraph discusses a prize for literature in Zhuang. One of the winners was a folk song, the other a novella. While I have nothing against folk songs, I find the novella potentially far more interesting as it wouldn’t necessarily fit within the framework of what multiculturalism has come to be in today’s China: “We love minorities as long as they wear colorful costumes, have some songs and dances, bring in tourists, and don’t spout other than the Party line.” (It wasn’t always so. In the period just after the 1949 revolution, the Communist authorities initially worked to give real support to minority groups — to the extent of registering many people as Zhuang who insisted that, no, they were Han!)

The novella, though, has a rather folksy title, Shorty A-he, so it may be just more in the colorful, old-fashioned-countryside-folk mode. Although there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, I hope there’s more to Zhuang literature than this. Otherwise, it’s going to end up a museum piece.






source: Shǒujiè Zhuàngwén wénxué jiǎng jiēxiǎo Zhuàngyǔ pǔjí dāchéng yìshù kuàichē, (????????????????????), Xinhua, November 4, 2005.

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