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A Disappearing Culture

Premier speaks

On May 24, during a visit to Beichuan County, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that the ancient culture and civilization of the Qiang people must be protected.

On May 30, the Forum on the Protection of Qiang Culture in Earthquake-hit Areas was held in Beijing. In June, the Forum of Emergent Protection of Qiang Cultural Relics was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Many experts from different universities and associations sat together to discuss how to protect Qiang culture, which is in the danger of extinction. They suggested that the protection of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Qiang should be an important part in the reconstruction of the quake-hit areas. A similar cultural environment should be created in the relocation of the Qiang people.

"Qiang culture has a history of more than 3,000 years, and now the population of Qiang people is just 300,000. It is hard to tell to what degree Qiang culture influences other nationalities," said Feng Jicai, Chairman of Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society. "Folk art is our mother culture. Now our mother is buried under the ruins, we have to save her."

"Now we have the regulations on the protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and we will follow the regulations in the protection work," said Gao. He has been busy searching for relics under the ruins.

"We are planning to build another large-scale Qiang Folk Museum. The location of the new museum has not yet been decided, but it will not be long," Gao said. "I believe as long as we are here and never give up, there will be a hopeful future for Qiang culture."

By Yuan Yuan

Editor: Feng Hui

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