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Town meeting  






Mostly indigenous people speaking in native tongue. Intermittent English language heard.  

Interview 1:28:37 - 1:51:48 Play 1:28:37 - More
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Guo Jing  






Discusses the area's perspective on conservation issues.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
16 Oct 2000

  • China
  • 28.4025   98.8111111
    Recording TimeCode
  • 46:51 - 49:00
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note

Show: Yunnan Great Rivers Project
Log of DAT #: 7
Engineer: McQuay
Date: October 16, 2000

ng = not good
ok = okay
g = good
vg = very good

Chris - very important that you LISTEN to any cut you want to use from this section. Guo Jing is often very difficult to understand and this log does not always reflect that

GJ = Guo Jing

1:28:50GJ - I am Guo Jing from Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences my work is cultural anthropology and I have traveled in a lot of places in the Yunnan Province. And stayed a year in Tibet and this year I am studying the culture around here in regions (?) just like this.

1:29:22 CJ - and you are kind of consulting for The Nature Conservancy on the YGRP?

1:29:28 GJ - Yes, just this year. This yr I took part in the program organized by the Yunnan Got and the TNC for the cultural preservation and natural preservation in the Kawagabo area.

CJ - Something we have asked everybody is for us as Americans to come and see this beautiful place and efforts to conserve the plants and the animals it strikes us also as very - as so unusual bc there are so many ethnic groups. As we saw today with each one with its own particular set of beliefs. Can you tell me - this morning was very enlightening but it came out in little pieces. Can you tell me - could you summarize for us what the desires of these people are for conservation but at the same time trying to keep hold of their culture.

1:30:32 GJ - You mean the local people's idea? Yeah I think since this program just started so I think - local people know something but not so clear. One thing I notice is the most imp thing to them is ?????? since this year 2 programs studied that some time. 1 program got onto the govt (?) the ?? govt ????? they are going to promote the development of tourism in this area. Of course this area you accept cutting trees - many yrs ago cutting a lot of trees to make money for garment and local economy. But this was rejected by the central govt so the local govt had tried to find another way to support the local economy. So tourism is one of the way to find so this is very very imp for local govt and also for local people. In area (?) from 1999 tourism started very fast in this area since the idea of Shangri-La spread in China. To give people the idea (?) I mean Shangri-La is in Dequin in the Kawagabo area so many people come here to visit such as the Me-yu glaciers, and to see the beautiful mtns. So I think that local people have influenced by outsiders so I think tourism is most imp for them to make money. Since another village in Me-yu - last year for one family the made nearly about 8000 JNB (?) - (CJ- 8000?) JNB - a year

CJ- and in dollars that is?

1:32;47 GJ - just by the horse riding

CJ - oh, I see

GJ - and ???? and for the ???? (can't understand this part) to attract the tourist that came and to make money --i think this what they understand. But the people here also have very strong idea about their own culture and their ???? - since I am talking with them for a few times. They think this area is holy area - I think Tibetans ideas the holy mtns is just something like the center of the world. So, in culture, here, the center of the world. So the have very strong respectation ? -- respect their own culture and they know that tourism might destroy something.

CJ- they are afraid perhaps?

1:34:04 GJ - yeah, they are afraid. And just at the same time the new program come in - to tell - outsiders that want to protect local nature and culture at the same time to develop tourism. But what I wonder is something I told you a few days ago. A right. A right to use the local sources. Who should use it? How to keep a balance to outsiders and local people - they don't not so clear about this.

CJ - the local people are not so clear about this?

1:34:56 GJ - not so clear. They know something, but not so clear. Since they have some example in Meyung (?) such as the govt made a program for tourism and want to use local land so their program the main part of land - how do you say - were managed by govt or even by companies outside. But what local people can get from management of land is a problem. I think this program should solve this problem by the way to discuss with the local people to have them to build their ability to - to deal with outsiders to keep a balance btwn different stake (?) holders - I think this is one of the most imp things

BILL checking to see if all is ok

1:36:23 CJ _ this mtg this morning was very interesting. Perhaps you could summarize along the lines of what you were just telling me - you come away from this mtg and what do you think now are the main concerns of this particular group of people about these mtns - Kawagabo - even this mtn is sacred - but then, TNC representatives say good, but we need toilets. And they want a road but they want a special road. Could you go over¿.

1:37:03 GJ - I think - the natural preservation has worked for many yrs in the Yunnan province such as Sushan B??? and the Nujung (?) area. And one of the problems is how to consider a local culture when protecting nature. Generally - many programs do not consider local peoples culture and their idea - how do you say - to sign a lined - nobody can ?????? but what about local people's life. But this program has a new idea - it puts 2 things together - cultural preservation and natural preservation - so outsiders have many ideas about build a road or improve local peoples life sort of things - yeah but I think the first thing we should have to record intangible culture. Since mtns and trees are tangible culture - we can see - this are imp - but these are not the most imp things - the most imp things are peoples ideas about this land - (Chris the above is interesting and good but at times hard to understand) knowledge about this land. I think the holy area is not just the sites - it is knowledge about the whole culture. How can we find a way to cooperate with local people to protect intangible culture - it is most difficult to do. Then to protect holy forests or holy sites.

CJ - What do you think is the biggest threat to this intangible culture?

1:39:27 GJ - biggest threat? I think something like globalization. All outsiders ¿have a strong idea about globalization. Means we are often used to consider ???? I am also outsiders but here people - local people believe in buddhism, but for most outsiders that believe other things how can they understand the local people idea abut Buddhist believing? Such as holy mtns. Do we think of holy mtns? No. it is local people idea. We can try and understand this very big problem. If we don't understand it we use many outsider idea to change this land. I think it is dangerous.

CJ - Do you think - when you a re designing a way to bring tourists here - Chinese tourists or perhaps western tourists - on the superficial level they come to see the physical beauty, perhaps if they are lucky they see some of the wild animals - and then go home. But do you think it is imp also to get outsiders - to find a way to give outsiders a view of that intangible culture - to understand things a little bit like the way the Tibetan Buddhists understand things

1:41:23 GJ - yeah, I think this is most imp. Such as tourism develop in the ??? not very rich - most people just came for the day - just to see the glacier and then return to Dequin - they get nothing I think (?). only a few people want to live in the village to understand the local people's lives. It is a big problem, bc I can give you an example of glacier - from the outside view a glacier is a glacier - it is nature - but for local people it is also a symbol of the religion. Many years ago the Tibetan - a japanese mtn climber come here to climb this mtns and the other bodies (?) left on the glacier

CJ - 17

1:42:21 GJ - yeah, 17of them. So local people think ¿ the glacier was dirtied - so, we often heard - many tourist came to work on the glacier and the glacier was destroyed. They told us from here. But from a specialist idea glacier can not be destroyed but just walking. So it is not a kind of idea, it is a religious idea. I think.

1:43:04 CJ - there is an expression in English called playing with fire - are you familiar with it? When a child plays with fire -

GJ - yeah, I know

CJ _ what I would like to ask you is when you bring in tourists - say you bring a road and there was no road before and the local people and you build a road and with the road come tourists and more tourists - TAPE CUTS OFF picks up at 1:43:42 - there was no road before it and the local people from this morning they want a road - and you bring in a road and with the road brings tourists and more tourists and western tourists and some of these things fmthe globalized culture. You know, whether it is tv or video cameras or Disney hats - little bits of other culture and the local people want them - maybe the adults don't but the children want them and then maybe they want to learn Mandarin Chinese or English and they say they don't want to learn Tibetan anymore - or maybe they want medicine instead of traditional herbal medicine. So little by little the road brings in the world and the culture disappears. How do you stop that fom happening?

1:44:43 GJ - It is difficult to stop it. And I think maybe it is not a question to stop something . you can not refuse the outside things that come in - such as Chinese ???? many yrs ago - the most imp thing for culture is core value

CJ - what is that?

GJ - the center of the culture - core value - I think the culture can change something - some part of a culture but it can not change the core value. The core value can not be changed. For here, the peoples core values believes up on the mtn (?). this is why I insist they should not (???) change the name of this mtn - the name ?? the belief - they can change their clothes - you can see everywhere they have no Tibetan clothes (?) - but the idea is very strong about this mtn. If this can remain - remain part of culture - for Chinese - it will remain a part of culture, and change a lot of things

1:46:21 CJ - so one more question: to preserve the core value what is your job?

1:46:26 GJ - my job is to have the local people to promote the ???? (CJ - self education?) yeah, self-education. I think self-education is most important, ah local people do not know many things about the outside world. They think everything is ok, the outside world is good. We receive everything - TV station, everything we can receive. So I think we need self education. They can compare their own culture and outside culture. They have the ability to compare them. They can decide which they want and which they do not want. We come here to decide for them.

1:47:16 CJ - self determination

1:47:17 GJ - yeah will help them to build the ability to make choice. I think this is very important. This is my job. 1:47:26 so, this year was just the start program called vizu education program (CJ - visual education program?) yes, visual education program - means we choose 3 religious to cooperate with local people to make video - video program - a part of their own culture. Bc on the TV everyday they ??? from the outside world, but nothing about their own culture. Even in future they can see their own culture seen on the TV. I think that maybe - it is difficult to explain, to discuss (CJ - no understand, that is good) what I am going to do - what I want to do.

CJ - it is difficult

GJ - yes very difficult

CJ - I have been to South America¿..

1:48:38 GJ - but I think the Tibetan idea - in Tibetan villages it is more easier the other ethnic groups bc I think Tibetan culture is whole culture not be broken - (CJ - not be what? Bill - not fragmented) it is a still whole culture - so it is more easier to do this work. Everywhere it just told people to tell people to do this program - that want to do it. Just 2 months ago in this village we worked for TNC to work - to collect local people idea. We used a way to pen (paint) the map here - they paint a very beautiful map. They know everything. Where is the honey (?) mtn, where the borders and told many stories. Suddenly they found they have very strong ability to protect their own culture.

CJ - thank you very much

Bill - one thing, you said you were beginning to describe the significance of the mtn bc the lama came and placed his mark on that mtn - could you tell us that story?

1:50:11 GJ - Yes, this mtn have 2 names - Kawagabo - since many many years ago since 8th century - means before age of Buddhism, the local idea have their own idea about the mtn. tHe gods controlled the honey (?) mtns - the Tasze (?) - in Tibetan the Tasze. So this mtn is called Jongzeng Kawagabo. Have special names. It is what locals call (?). and from 8th century the Buddhism come in and the Buddhist teachers ??? all local gods and changed the name of the mtn. So we call it Neangchin Kawagabo. Neanching is something like holy or something - so a mtn from local belief change it to Buddhist belief. And today the name would change it to another name. So it is a long story and at the beginning we call it a red branch of Tibetan Buddhism came here. Yeah the Limi Lama came here to control the holy mtns - control this mtn. And later on the white branch came here and to make this mtn become very famous in Tibetan area so local people call it Tamoka (?). Tamoka is white branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

CJ - I see - well thank you.

1:52:34 - 1:55:18 ambi in the area of the interview - cow bells in the distance - cows mooing -

1:54:20 horse neigh

1:54:39 horse neigh

used SPACED OMNIS with Zeplin for interview

1:55:35 end of DAT

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