Monday, November 24

Shaxi Farewell

Our time in Shaxi flew by, and before we knew it, we were at the farewell banquet, where local musicians and dancers performed for us.  It was a good chance to see the Bai culture and traditions; of course the village life was noticeably different from urban lifestyles in Kunming, but otherwise it was subtle to distinguish between Han traditions and ethnic minority traditions (for us).  

After the Bai dancing, they turned to our group, and asked for an American performance.  At a complete loss of traditional American culture that we could share on the spot, we settled on the Macarena, followed by a painful rendition of "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan.  

Afterwards, I unexpectedly spent the whole evening with my host family.  Other nights, since we spoke no common language, my parents (both maybe late forties, and quite worn) had left me to go to bed by 6:30.  On our last night, though, they pulled me into the communal family living space, where we watched TV and exchanged photos.  They also called their nineteen year old daughter, who's away for high school, since the village has no higher ed, to speak to me in English.  She conveyed that her parents were unsure of how to communicate with me, but urged me to return to Shaxi.  

I've acquired quite the collection of local attire from each of my homestay families.  In Bua, of course, there was the traditional Tsa Chila skirt. In Kunming, I picked up the scarf (see above) that looks terribly like a boa.  My most recent acquisitions include the red Chinese trucker hat, which Dave has enthusiastically commandeered, and traditional Chinese flats.  By the end of the trip, I should be able to put together quite the collective outfit!

No comments: