August 30, 2011

A House Warming Feast in a Yunnan Village

It is a good time to visit Yunnan any time of the year. The saying goes " It is spring in Yunnan the whole year round". And Yunnan has the reputation of being the Paradise of China.

It cannot be more true in my own experience. I had the best God given ten days of my life there. In the mountains you can only feel the warm love of friends and strangers ( Strangers are friends you have not met) and the presence of God. I would rather think that's my definition of paradise on earth!!

We were invited to a friend's housewarming in the mountains. The journey took just about a hour from where we were staying. Along the way we saw the beautiful and fascinating rice terraces and crops growing even on top of the hills!!

The Yi tribe and the Miao tribe can walk hours from one place to another. Cultivating the hills is part of their century old culture.

the Yi minority people are now enjoying a very high standard of life with the government compensating them for the use of their land for road construction and urban development. Many of them live in three storeyed mansions and continue to grow cash crops using the latest technology . While many continue to enjoy continuing their modernised but traditional farming as their occupations many have gone for tertiary studies to better equip themselves for the 21 st century China. A Yi minority man has a PhD in modern agriculture while another man we met has developed his own fertilizers based on very sustainable methods.

 However the magical part of this area lies in their deep rooted culture and traditions. The women still turn up for parties in their traditional costumes. That day I was wearing their colour - orange and they were extremely warm towards their guests but remain very camera shy.



There costumes look good both front and back....And the women are very very close to each other. These ladies are waiting to place their gifts of an Angpow on the reception table.



Their tables are small and low and here we were seated eight to a table. (Eight is a prosperity number or a Blessing Number to Christians and non Christians).

Happy Blessed Eight people eating a meal together ...Each house is protected by a good stone wall.
Young and old came to help a relative to celebrate the thanksgiving  and dedication of her new mansion.
"Refilling" the serving bowls on the table is part of their culture . A guest's full stomach is a host's pleasure.
Twelve Dishes (our dish of water melon is under the table and Lisa is putting the dried meats away) A Good Feast is a Table Laden with Food . All the food on the table is from their own farm. 
A few hundreds came for the house warming. The space between the new house and other houses were used up as venue for the low table (al fresco) feasting. Here is another table of happy guests. There were more than 12 dishes and "refilling" came several times. Two extra dishes of fruits and dried meats made a total of 14.

My friends and I felt so blessed - an unexpected invitation and an experience in paradise.

8 comments:

Ann said...

what a great life you have, traveling so much.

Anonymous said...

ahaa...no wonder "quiet2 " last week ,enjoy le...
is not the Ah Lee Shan,eh ? i can imaging the fresh air * mmmm...*

- Ah Ngao

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...I do try to get opportunities to travel and had planned some travelling 2010-2012..next Dec in New Zealand. It is in the plan...

love always...cy

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao..you are observant!! Yes I was away for ten days...Did enjoy myself...and all the walking caused my leg muscles to freeze up!! Now nursing a bad cold post trip...the usual lah...

Need kampong chicken soup!!! Thanks for dropping by.
There's Shangri la in Yunnan to visit next. You must visit Yunnan when you are older and retired. The air in the kampong is fresh but the smells of the fertilizers can be overwhelming....lol.

Anonymous said...

Ibans and other indigenous peopleof Southeast asia inlcuding alishan were thought to migrate from Yunnan.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous
Yes indeed!! I can see so many similarities between the Ibans of Sarawak and the minorities of Yunnan.
Thanks for visiting.

Free Bird said...

So do I get away scot-free not paying for your holidays now? :p

I can actually hear the sounds and smells of the housewarming party. Was the food good? So colorful!

Their meals are the original organic food!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Free Bird...in the future when I am old and using a walking stick...you will have to pay double for my trips...and may be even pay for a new camera...

Yes FOOD in Yunnan was organic and so good....Pigs are reared downstairs in some villages..and slaughtered for celebration...how organic can you get!!