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Family in SW China's Dali Highlights the Charm of Traditional Ethnic Music

Viewed 703 times 2018-12-5 17:51 |System category:News

Photo of Zhao Piding and his family []


Three generations of a family have been earnestly passing on traditional Chinese culture in southwest China's Yunnan Province for the past few years.

Zhao Piding, 76, is the inheritor of Raosanling, a religious festival hosted by the Bai ethnic group. The festival was listed among the national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

In recent years, Zhao has led three generations of his family to innovate and spread the unique folk art form of Daben music, dispalying the changes of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture since the country's reform and opening-up.

Zhao is a native of Zuoyi Village in Dali, where people are widely recognized as hardworking and versatile. Due to illness, Zhao lost his left leg at the age of three. Since he couldn't engage in physical labor, he was determined to become an artist like his father and brother.

In 1974, Zhao held his first special concert in Zhoucheng Village with 18 sessions for over ten days, which made him a renowned Daben music artist in Dali. After that he had been engaged in performances for the next 50 years.

In addition, Zhao has also cultivated many apprentices, including his three daughters and son.

Zhao's daughter Zhao Dongmei has participated in more than 2,000 performances since her debut at the age of 11. She also won the silver prize at the second Paris Chinese Art Festival for her performance of Tune of a Sparrow. Zhao Dongmei is now a city-level intangible cultural heritage inheritor of Daben music.

Over thousands of years, Bai folk artists have been employing Daben music in praise of pure love and as means of display of emotions in life, whilst Zhao has courageously innovated traditional Bai music as such to publicize national and local policies. 

In 2015, during his inspection tour to Yunnan, President Xi Jinping made instructions on protecting the Erhai. Thereafter, in January 2017, Dali launched the Seven Actions for the protection and management of the Erhai in response to Xi's requirement.

Zhao and his children jointly created Protecting the Erhai in the form of Daben music, which was promoted through live performances on campuses and on the radio and television.

Zhao has also set up a cultural performance team with his children and grandchildren to perform in the Bai ethnic villages alongside the Erhai. As of now, they have performed over 80 sessions.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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