This topic immediately draws my mind to 15 years ago, when I made a journey alone. And actually it was the first time in my life that I’d ever been far away from home on my own.
I went to Yunnan province, a beautiful place characterized by a variety of ethnic groups. I lived there for about half a year, when I witnessed a number of cultures of the ethnic groups, like bai, Tibetan, dai, etc., which I’d never seen before. And the most impressive one to me was the Nahki culture. They have their own language with which they talked with each other inside their community, although they had no problem communicating with me in Mandarin. Not only is the spoken form different. As a matter of fact, its written form, which is called Dongba Symbols, is unique. It is actually a system of pictographic glyphs, which has a history of over 700 years. And that is why the writing system is called a living fossil.
Some other interesting aspects of the Nahki culture is that, the people have a totally different view on feminine charm. Unlike most people around the world, who hold the belief that thin is beautiful, the Nahki people regard plumpness as a main criterion when judging women’s appearance. This is partly due to their matriarchal society, in which women are heads of families and they just need to be strong to do everything from household to farm work for their families.