Distinct Yi village in Dongchuan thrives on rural tourism
Amid the gentle breeze in early spring, the peach trees near the Sunny Valley Shengu (holy drum) stockaded village are about to bloom. Located in the Awang town of central Yunnan’s Dongchuan District, the Yi village features 99 buildings with earthen walls and flag-stone roofs.
“Long live those who have just drunk the wine, and you’ll have good health by crossing over the lucky fire,” said Shao Xuemei at the village gate, who, together with her fellow Yi girls, welcomed the visitors by singing and toasting.
In recent years, the Awang town adopted rural tourism as an effective approach to poverty alleviation, and they also bred animals and grew fruits to increase the villagers’ income. As of now, the Yi village has received 100,000 plus tourists, raising 261 impoverished families out of poverty.
“We hum in the flower field, sing toast songs near the fire pit and dance around bonfires.” Shao said she couldn’t have imagined making money by entertaining visitors, and by working in the distinct Yi tourist settlement, other villagers have also bettered off.
In the past, Shao and other girls in the village either worked as migrant workers or engaged in farming. To better serve the visitors now, they focus on learning the traditional Yi culture, bringing into full play their talents in singing and dance.
“Following the Spring Festival, the flowers in the village will be in full blossom, and we’re expecting to usher in more visitors,” said Shao.
Reporting by Chen Fei (Yunnan Daily); Trans-editing by Wang Shixue