With the recent opening of the “Jangar Culture & Arts Palace” (江格尔文化艺术宫), China’s campaign to project itself as a nation with a rich multi-ethnic past and present continues apace. According to a report republished on the web site of the China Writers Association (建成投用), the building covers over 6,000 square meters and cost almost US$10 … Continue reading Jangar Culture & Arts Palace Opens in Xinjiang
A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While … Continue reading “Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics
As of May 1, 2016, the controversial, so-called Biànmín Liánxì Kǎ (便民联系卡) will cease to be in use in Xinjiang, according to the authorities (不再使用). The card (pictured here), which lists contact info for the card-holder’s hometown authorities, was supposedly intended to facilitate a variety of services when the Xinjiang resident was away from his or … Continue reading April 2016: Altaic Storytelling Newsbriefs
A while back I stumbled upon a short Chinese news item about a newly discovered handwritten manuscript of the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas (玛纳斯史诗). This centuries-old trilogy in verse recounts the exploits of the legendary hero Manas, and his son and grandson in their struggle to resist external enemies and unite the Kyrgyz people. Along … Continue reading Jusup Mamay, Manaschi: A Rehabilitated Rightist and his Turkic Epic
China unveiled its premier Encyclopedia of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage (中国非物质文化遗产, 史诗卷) on June 12, reports China Daily (Released). This is the first of three volumes, and is dedicated to three great oral epics of the Tibetans, Mongols and Kyrgyz, respectively: King Gesar, Jangar and Manas. The cover is in Chinese and English, but I do … Continue reading China’s New Intangible Cultural Heritage Encyclopedia: Celebration of Multi-ethnicity, or Aggressive Cultural Appropriation?
An intriguing picture of what constitutes Chinese literature (中国文学) emerges via an interview with Bai Gengsheng (访中国作协书记处书记白庚胜), a Naxi who has held several senior positions in the state-run ethnic minority literary research apparatus, including his current role as Secretary of the China Writers Association. In the interview with Chinese Reading Weekly (中华读书报), Bai says: In … Continue reading Definitions of “Chinese” Literary Works in Expansion Mode?
In yet another move that emphasizes how much $$ China is spending to take its literature global, the 2014 list of finalists for the “China Classics International Publication Project” (经典中国国际出版工程) has just been announced. It comprises 256 titles that will be translated into 27 languages, according to an article on China Book Int’l (入围). You … Continue reading Unveiled: List of “2014 China Classics” to Benefit from Translation/Publication Subsidy