China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Dancing Salangw: Cultural (Re)Localization and Identity Reconstruction in A Post-Disaster Community in the Southwest China

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Magnolia, Lower Ground Floor

This paper deals with a multicultural community and their cultural appeal in the dual context of China's ethnic policy and the post-disaster recovery. After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a relocated community intended to emphasize the authenticity of their ethnic identity by dislodging the ambiguous and hybrid elements in their local folk dances. The ethnic identification in China has placed the minority populations in the state-created ethnic category that neglects the economic, social, and cultural integrations of the ethnic groups in adjacent areas. Meanwhile, this classification has made the groups who share the same ethnic category construct a collective identity that differs from the other recognized ethnic categories. The multi-ethnic community this research explores is located on the east edge of the Sino-Tibetan borderland. The high mobility and the exogamy of local people resulted in an unsettled identity. However, after being positioned in the state-established ethnic category, the once ambiguous identity gradually became unwavering, especially for the local elites who are eagerly embracing the Qiang identity for multiple reasons. Due to the earthquake and the post-disaster recovery, a significant amount of social concerns and resources were placed in this area, which motivated the local community to refine and reshape their expressive culture to correspond to the highlighted ethnic identity. Taking the salengw dance as an entry point, this paper analyzes how and why the local people seek for the authenticity of their Qiang ethnicity as one way to understand how the disaster has impacted the community.


 

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3 - Dancing Salangw: Cultural (Re)Localization and Identity Reconstruction in A Post-Disaster Community in the Southwest China



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Send Email for Dancing Salangw: Cultural (Re)Localization and Identity Reconstruction in A Post-Disaster Community in the Southwest China