Theme Tourism Booming in China – Research on Bamboo Culture in Ethnic Minority Regions, Yunnan Province Lu Shiju School of Management, South Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, Hubei, 430074 Abstract Bamboo culture is a cultural complex of bamboo. Chinese bamboo culture has a lot of connotations. The development of bamboo culture tourism has a bright market prospect. The paper takes Yunnan as an example, analyzes the advantages of Ethnic minority regions of Yunnan to develop bamboo culture tourism and offers key clues for Ethnic minority regions of Yunnan to develop bamboo culture tourism, to which ethnic minority regions may refer for their development of bamboo culture tourism. Keywords Yunnan, Ethnic Minorities, Bamboo Culture, Tourism.
1 Introduction The connotation of Chinese bamboo culture is very abundant and unique, which greatly influences the development of literature, art, history, culture, craft, gardening, music, religions and folk customs in China. Scholars have analyzed and researched bamboo culture in view of civilization development, philosophy, specialty, production and art in recent years . The involved research on bamboo culture tourism is mainly about resource advantages  and profits   of Chinese bamboo culture tourism development, as well as clues and suggestions   for bamboo culture ecological tourism development, etc. Considering the research of scholars, in spite of different opinions of experts and scholars, the research on bamboo culture resources and bamboo culture tourism of ethnic minorities is still a bottleneck in Chinese bamboo culture research. Yunnan is “the homeland of large clump bamboo” and “the homeland of ethnic bamboo culture” in China. Ethnic bamboo culture is an important component of Yunnan Ethnic Culture  and a uniquely charming tourism resource. The paper takes Yunnan as an example and discusses the development approaches for bamboo culture tourism in ethnic minority regions of Yunnan, to which ethnic minority regions may refer for their development of bamboo culture tourism.
2 Resource Advantage Analysis on Developing Specific Tourism of Minority Bamboo Culture in Yunnan Yunnan is a mountainous highland province with various climate types. This advantaged natural condition is very suitable for the growth of bamboo. Yunnan is abundant in bamboo resources and tops the country in bamboo species resource and natural bamboo forest area.  As a multinational province, each ethnic group is used to planting bamboo, protecting bamboo and using bamboo. Bamboo is closely linked to the production, living, history and culture, arts, religion, customs of all the ethnic groups as well as clothing, food, accommodation, transport and commodity. The vast bamboo forest has become geographical landscape of minority region in Yunnan and bamboo has penetrated into the material production and spiritual culture field which foster both attractive and meaningful bamboo culture of wide scope demonstrating the tourist market potential of bamboo culture in this area. 2.1 Rich Bamboo Food Culture With the restriction of natural environment, Yunnan minority groups have a long history of using bamboo especially bamboo shoot during cooking and a set of unique technologies for processing and cooking have come into being gradually. In terms of different qualities of every bamboo shoot, they make different bamboo shoot products such as fresh bamboo shoots, dried bamboo shoots, sour bamboo shoots, compressed bamboo shoots, soaked shoot and bamboo shoot flower. They also make use of the natural characteristics of special bamboo species to make food and drink of local flavors such as
bamboo-tube rice, bamboo-tube chicken and bamboo-tube fish made by Dai ethnic group with pure and pleasing flavor and novel methods for eating. 2.2 Classic Bamboo Architectural Culture Bamboo has a profound effect on the living culture of Yunnan minority groups. The origin of making house with bamboos is described in the legends and folktales. Bamboo rafter, the most representative and characteristic housing architecture, is chosen as main domestic building among Dai minority, Jingpo minority, Deang minority, Bulang minority, Jinuo minority as well as some of Hani minority, Laku Minority, Wa minority, Lishu minority, Nu minority, Dulong Minority, which reflects the cultural psychology and Aesthetic taste of Yunnan minority groups. Mr Xiong Xiyuan (1990) once said: “Bamboo rafters reflect not only the taste of Dai minority in housing architecture, but also the psychology of standing aloof from the worldly affairs of Hinayana Buddhism.”  2.3 Particular Bamboo Vehicle Culture Bamboo has played an important part in the traffic history of Yunnan minorities who have made many kinds of bamboo-made transportation facilities such as bamboo ropeway, bamboo cord suspension bridge, bamboo bridge and bamboo raft. Deep gorge and rapid current of the transversal mountain range in the northwest of Yunnan pose numerous barriers to external access. Nu minority, Lishu minority, Dulong minority, Naxi minority and Tibetan, who live here generation by generation, with their amazing courage and proper wisdom, invent the particular vehicle-bamboo ropeway in accordance with the environment. Bamboo ropeway is of no use till now though it is still popular in Dulong River area where Dulong minorities live. It has become the symbol of the nationality and bridge architecture for view. Bamboo bridges are wide spread on rivers in Xijian of Yunnan. Bamboo rafter is the dominant vehicles for Yunnan minority groups. Many bamboo rafters can be seen on the Ruili River lying on the border between China and Burma, which makes a charming and affecting picture. 2.4 Exotic Bamboo Garden Due to the great utility of bamboo, the closed and self-sustaining small peasant economy structure, as well as the naïve ideas of bamboo worship and bamboo taboo held by Yunnan minorities, Yunnan minorities have followed the good customs of bamboo protection for a long history. They really know the importance of bamboo to ecological and environmental protection and carefully plant and protect bamboo. A proverb of Dai minority says: “Elephants follow forest and forest follows bamboo.” The folk customs of planting and protecting bamboo result in the living environment where many Yunnan minorities live with bamboo and the unique ethnic features.  Most of bamboo planted by Yunnan minorities is clump bamboo with connected roots and green leaves. Many villages and houses of ethnic minorities are hidden in green bamboo forests. Lots of love stories, melodious folk songs, joyful festivals and ceremonies, as well as sacred religious rites take place in the bamboo forest. Strongly contrasted with other cultures, bamboo forest becomes an important part and a main symbol of the charm of Yunnan minorities. 2.5 Splendid Bamboo-Knit Culture Yunnan has various bamboo-made and bamboo-knit supplies and handicrafts classified into daily necessities, playthings and accessories. These bamboo-knit articles not only satisfy the practical need, but give you aesthetic pleasure. Hani minority has a kind of cap made of thin bamboo strip, decorated with luxurious pictures and coated with China wood oil, which can protect you from sun and rain and also can be keepsakes among lovers. The bamboo-made furnishing handcrafts, such as the bamboo ring used by women of De’ang minority, Wa minority, Jingpo minority and bamboo-knit bracelet used by women of Nu minority, are most popular tourist products with their furnishing aesthetics function. 2.6 Graceful Bamboo Music Culture Music and dance of Yunnan minority groups has close relationship with bamboo. Most of bamboo spread over the Pingba Mountainous Area in Yunnan are hollow and different in thickness, so they are the most available material for making musical instruments and as well as common accompanying instruments and props for dancing. Chinese wide pipe used by Miao minority, Yi minority, Layou minority has a long history and a clear and loud tone. The dancing accompanied by this Chinese wide pipe is very expressing. Fernleaf Hedge Bamboo in the Moonlight accompanied by cucurbit flute is world famous. Bamboo musical instruments and bamboo music dancing, as a symbol of bamboo culture,
are charming cultural tourist resources displayed in Yunnan minority regions. 2.7 Customary Culture on Happy Bamboo Festival Bamboo plays a dominant part in festivals and entertainment of Yunnan minority groups. Dai minority play bamboo with powder inside and Kongming Lamp during Water-Splashing Festival, Yi minority engage in activities showing respect to bamboo during Tiaogong Festival and Harvest Festival. Jinuo minority hold bamboo cane contest (carrying bamboo on head, turning bamboo, twisting bamboo) during the Spring Festival and other festivals. Jingpo minority engage in “climb bamboo canes” activities during Dancing Festival and Rice-tasting Festival. Bamboo adds extraordinary splendor to the festival of Yunnan minority groups.
3 Basic Thoughts for the Development of Bamboo Culture Tourism in Yunnan Minority Regions Tourism has been one of the four supporting industries in Yunnan province. In order to promote the quick and sustainable development for tourism, the relevant departments in Yunnan province have been endeavoring to develop some characteristic tourist production involving natural scenery and national culture, emphasizing on the participation and knowledge. In this course, how to discover and utilize the rich and characteristic bamboo culture resource in Yunnan and how to develop the bamboo culture tourism in Yunnan? In my opinion: 3.1 To Approve and Value the Development of Bamboo Culture in Yunnan Minority Regions The bamboo culture in minority regions should be the important culture tourist resource in Yunnan province for its colorful style and long history. However, the development for the picturesque bamboo and bamboo culture tourist resource blending with the Yunnan minority culture is far from enough. There are several reasons for the development of bamboo culture tourism as follows: 3.1.1 To develop bamboo culture tourism caters for the development thought “to build Yunnan a national culture and green economy province” put forward by the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government. 3.1.2 It is helpful to carry forward the excellent national traditional culture. There are wonderful stories for bamboo history, romantic amorous feelings for bamboo forest, plain and elegant bamboo knit and touching bamboo music and dances, all of which are quite attractive to the tourists who live in the cement forest. Enjoying the beauty and pleasure, the tourists can also appreciate the profound connotations in the Yunnan national traditional culture. 3.1.3 It is convenient for the tourist programs in Yunnan to develop with diversity. The bamboo culture tourism and other tourist programs in Yunnan benefit each other, establishing a good foundation for the development of specific tour and special interest tour. 3.1.4 It helps to eliminate poverty and develop local economy. To develop bamboo culture tourism can also bring about favorable economical effect to the places of sightseeing. Landscape and sightseeing spots along the tourist areas will be busier and there will be more production and purchase for bamboo commodities and more business chance for bamboo entertainment and bamboo rafters. Finally it will promote the minority regions to escape poverty towards well-off conditions. 3.1.5 It benefits the proper use of bamboo feature spots and bamboo resource, and it also benefits the protection for species diversity and environment in sightseeing districts. As a result, what should be fully noticed by the relevant departments is that bamboo culture tourist resource plays an important role in the process of developing characteristic tourist production. They should also change their concepts to approve and value the bamboo culture, seize the chance and attach importance to the development for bamboo culture tourism. 3.2 To Strengthen the Constructive Investment and Scientific Research for the Bamboo Culture Tourism and Create a Harmonious Environment for its Development Lack of the investment in hardware construction and impelling support from system theory, the rare minority bamboo culture resource is missing every minute. For instance, in some villages, masonry structure buildings have taken the place of graceful bamboo rafters and more plastic buckets are being used for water storage instead of bamboo tubes. It is our common wish to carry forward the national culture and develop bamboo culture tourism. 123
3.2.1 Tourist and relevant departments should seize the chance for West Development, as well as the opportunity that the country is attaching great importance to the Three Issues of Agriculture, Countryside and Peasantry, to increase the investment in the development of bamboo culture tourism. Since 2005, there has been more national finance for countryside and all levels of governments have increased the investment force for countryside. Taking this occasion, we can invest more hardware construction in Yunnan bamboo culture tourism. For example, the government may help to build a set of comfortable and perdurable bamboo rafters with national style in the villages which are closely related to bamboo. Although the bamboo rafters are made of modern materials, they are still bamboo rafters in which the tourists can be personally on the scene and influenced by the full-bodied bamboo culture atmosphere. 3.2.2 Tourist administration departments, tourist enterprises and scientific research departments should make a concerted effort to carry out actively the study on bamboo culture and bamboo culture tourism, set up a suit of theory frame for scientific system and put forward the development countermeasures and programming scheme for Yunnan bamboo culture tourism, in order to direct the bamboo culture tourism to develop healthily. At present, according to “the National Bamboo Industry 9th Five-Year-Plan and Perspective Programming”, experts in bamboo study from Yunnan put forward the blueprint for the development of bamboo industry and worked out “the General Planning for the Development of Bamboo Industry in Yunnan Province”. They have acquired many results from researches in Yunnan bamboo resource, bamboo for material and bamboo shoots. However for the colorful national bamboo culture resource and bamboo culture tourism in Yunnan, the development is lack of scientific research up to the present, which fails to accommodate the trend for Yunnan to build tourist supporting industries and become the big tourist province.  3.3 To Take Bamboo Culture of Ethnic Minority Groups in Yunnan as Tourist Theme and Design Related Special Tourist Products To design cultural tourist products, the cultural theme of the tourist destination should be taken into full consideration. The concerning tourism departments and persons in Yunnan could take bamboo culture as its tourist theme and promote a series of special tourist products. 3.3.1 To gratify the desire of festivals and cultural activities of ethnic minorities and curiosity about the special folk-custom, the relevant departments and people could develop bamboo exotic tour and arrange tourists to participate a series of bamboo cultural activities, such as visiting bamboo garden, living in bamboo house, eating rice cooked in bamboo pot, tasting tea in bamboo pot, watching bamboo dance, listening music played with bamboo instruments, joining in bamboo festival and buying bamboo handcrafts. 3.3.2 To conduct environmental protection and moral education, they could develop bamboo education tour by which tourists could have access to know about the minorities’ virtues of planting, protecting, caring and appreciating bamboo 3.3.3 To cater for the need of returning to the nature, they could develop bamboo ecologic tour. Yunnan boasts 27 genus including over 200 species of bamboo, among which 50 species exist in Yunnan only , such as dendrocalamus sinicus, bambusa ventricosa, P.heterocycla (Carr.) Mirford, etc. The unique and precious species of bamboo have high ornamental value with their various physical appearances. The ecologic tour could be arranged in wild and planted bamboo forests and bamboo gardens, so that people can enjoy the pleasure of returning to the nature. 3.3.4 To satisfy the great interest in the bamboo culture, they could develop bamboo culture appreciation tour and construct bamboo culture museum, in which bamboo instrument, tools of production, domestic appliances and handcrafts, poems, writings, painting and calligraphy concerning bamboo could be displayed and the tourists could make some bamboo handcrafts or draw bamboo paintings by themselves. Tourists could experience and appreciate bamboo culture of Yunnan minorities with their own eyes, ears and hands. 3.3.5 To meet the demand of souvenirs, they could develop bamboo culture specialties such as bamboo food, handcrafts, domestic appliances, musical instruments and medicine, which embody unique national features and enable visitors to know Yunnan by tangible articles. 3.3.6 Besides the above tourist products, other bamboo culture tours such as bamboo health care tour, bamboo festival tour, tour of tracing to the original facts of bamboo hometown and bamboo art
performance tour could be selected or combined to meet the demand of tourists.
4 Conclusion At present, the untouched bamboo view resource and glamorous bamboo culture resource are the basis of promoting bamboo culture tour. The concerning departments should study the connotation of minorities’ bamboo culture profoundly, put emphasis on the development of bamboo culture tour, create a better environment for its development and increase and perfect bamboo culture tourist products gradually. The tourism industry in the minorities’ areas will definitely be more prosperous in the future along with the growth of bamboo culture tour.
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