Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beyond the Great Wall - The Miao Bamboo Instrument: The Lusheng

There are 1.5 billion people who live in China, and approximately 92% are Han Chinese, that is ethnically Chinese. Most of this blog explores the Han culture. However, in the outer regions of China, beyond the great wall,  various ethnic "minorities" abound. In fact, there are 56 officially recognized ethnic "minorities" in China, which accounts for about 125 million people.
Lusheng Players
Photo Credit: Jason Powers
The Lusheng is a bamboo wind instrument with multiple pipes and metal reeds. They range in length from 1/3 meter to 3 1/3 meters.

Lusheng music is played at festivals, to celebrate harvests and to worship ancestors. Playing the lusheng is often accompanied by rhythmic dancing and swinging from side to side.

Photo Credit: Jason Powers
There are lusheng competitions in which the players have been training for years to play the instrument while doing a sort of head stand, essentially playing it upside down.

Hope you enjoy listening to lusheng music!

To learn more about the Miao, check out our other posts for Beyond the Great Wall, including an overview of the Miao and Sister's Meal Festival, a traditional courting festival.

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