Anonymous said: Hello; I'm ABC and I often go back and visit China. Once, we went to this park that represented different Chinese minorities. From what I remember, they portrayed each group as extremely happy and even a bit primitive (there was an undertone of them being "blissfully ignorant", or behind the times). I know now that a lot of ethnic minorities are oppressed in mainland China and I was wondering if this was a form of propaganda and misrepresentation? Also, where can I read more about minorities?
i am neither born in China nor have lived there for extended periods of time so please note my opinions on this are based on a lot of secondhand information or impressions i’ve had from my visits there, just like you.
you could call it propaganda in a way, yes, but in the way all countries i know with policies on “multiculturalism” are. China’s public policies on their multiculturalism seems to really push the idea of 56 ethnic groups living together in harmony. i see a sort of tokenising of the cultures of Chinese ethnic minorities in mainstream Chinese art and media. as a Canadian, though, to me it’s always seemed way better than how Western countries have treated their Indigenous minority populations, who are basically erased from our contemporary cultures.
i don’t know what resources there are for you to learn about ethnic minorities in China in English. i sometimes meet people who are part of a Chinese ethnic minority and who are also diasporic, but many of them identify more or less as just “Chinese” and that ends up being how we connect. it seems to be common for the nuances of ethnocultural identities in the home country to be lost after emigrating somewhere that has no concept of those identities. (it can also depend on the ethnic minority — i’d say the majority of Korean Chinese 朝鮮民族 i’ve met actively identify with their Korean identity as well.)
certain ethnic groups are fairly represented in Chinese music, so you might want to look into different musicians as well?
Would not agree at all. It is without a doubt pure propaganda. Comparing how China treats ‘minorities’ aka colonized people today like Tibetans and Uyghurs cannot be compared to how Canadians treat the aboriginal people - unless you want to compare present day China to Canada 100 years ago. Do a simple search on Tibet or East Turkestan and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Canada is no saint but it does not torture or kill people today for protesting their land rights. If China wants to be seen as a respected a super power in this day and age it needs to cease its archaic methods of genocide and silencing people.