Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Dali's Bai culture: less "foreign" to Han Chinese?

  1. #1
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    23,484

    Default Dali's Bai culture: less "foreign" to Han Chinese?

    Wulin novels depict a variety of cultures and ethnic groups that occupy China. Often, we see comparisons and contrasts between the numerically dominant Han ethnic group and the various other ethnic groups that occupy China.

    Such groups as the Khitan, the Juchen, the Tangut, and the Mongols are depicted as notably "foreign" by Han Chinese standards. Members of these ethnic groups dress differently, have different-sounding names, and practice different customs than do Han Chinese. The Bai of the Dali Kingdom, however, are almost always depicted as indistinguishable from Han Chinese: they dress like the Han, and seem to follow Han cultural practices (moreso than the Khitan, Juchen, Tangut, and Mongols...even after their "Sinicization"). Moreover, whereas the Khitan, Juchen, Tangut, and Mongol states were depicted as being in military conflict with the Han, the Bai of Dali seemed to always maintain friendly relations with the Han.

    Why is this so?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,530

    Default

    The Nanchao Kingdom (the Yi elite) was largely influenced by the Tang Dynasty (as were many countries at the time). That influence was passed down to the Dali Kingdom (the Bai power). The Dali Kingdom was largely more interested with working with the Song Dynasty than against it.

  3. #3
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    23,484

    Default

    That makes sense. Dali was heavily Buddhist in its spiritual leanings, as Tang China had been (although the Sung would take a more Taoist inclination).

    Perhaps the location of Dali in the south also attributed to its more Han character; the Bai were not steppe nomads like the Khitan, Juchen, Mongols, etc., were.

  4. #4
    Senior Member resident:alien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    LYF-BASHING LAND!
    Posts
    1,480

    Default

    As for the fashion-statements, maybe it was just the ROYAL CLASS and OFFICIALS that wore HAN-LIKE clothing. The civilians, I believe, wore more traditional BAI clothing which is similar (but still very different) to that of YI and MIAO in design (if I remember correctly).

    At the time, the government was also fighting off "barbarians" too, weren't they? By "barbarians," I mean that groups such as the MIAO were considered as such. Isn't that why the southern lower great wall was built?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Wulin novels depict a variety of cultures and ethnic groups that occupy China. Often, we see comparisons and contrasts between the numerically dominant Han ethnic group and the various other ethnic groups that occupy China.

    Such groups as the Khitan, the Juchen, the Tangut, and the Mongols are depicted as notably "foreign" by Han Chinese standards. Members of these ethnic groups dress differently, have different-sounding names, and practice different customs than do Han Chinese. The Bai of the Dali Kingdom, however, are almost always depicted as indistinguishable from Han Chinese: they dress like the Han, and seem to follow Han cultural practices (moreso than the Khitan, Juchen, Tangut, and Mongols...even after their "Sinicization"). Moreover, whereas the Khitan, Juchen, Tangut, and Mongol states were depicted as being in military conflict with the Han, the Bai of Dali seemed to always maintain friendly relations with the Han.

    Why is this so?
    [ 空蕩的街景 想找個人放感情 做這種決定 是寂寞與我為鄰...我們的愛情 像你路過的風景 一直在進行 腳步卻從來不會為我而停...給你的愛一直很安靜 來交換你偶爾給的關心 明明是三個人的電影 我卻始終不能有姓名...你說愛像雲 要自在飄浮才美麗 我終於相信 分手的理由有時候很動聽...給你的愛一直很安靜 來交換你偶爾給的關心 明明是三個人的電影 我卻始終不能有姓名... 一直很安靜 ]

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen
    The Nanchao Kingdom (the Yi elite) was largely influenced by the Tang Dynasty (as were many countries at the time). That influence was passed down to the Dali Kingdom (the Bai power). The Dali Kingdom was largely more interested with working with the Song Dynasty than against it.
    And so was Xixia. If anything, Xixia(Tangut) should be closer to Tang Dynasty than Dali. Yet, we see Xixia in battle with Song quite a couple of times.

  6. #6
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    23,484

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifian
    And so was Xixia. If anything, Xixia(Tangut) should be closer to Tang Dynasty than Dali. Yet, we see Xixia in battle with Song quite a couple of times.
    Hsi Hsia Kingdom was in a great position in one way: it was situated on the Silk Road at the very threshold of Sung China. Any traders and merchants from the West who traveled to China by land almost certainly had to pass through Hsi Hsia (which must have been good for the economy).

    Hsi Hsia also, however, shared a border with the Liao Empire (I think). If so, perhaps pressure from the Liao on the north forced the Hsi Hsia to consider taking over Sung territory as a buffer against the Liao threat to the north.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Hsi Hsia Kingdom was in a great position in someways...situated on the Silk Road at the very threshold of Sung China. Any traders and merchants from the West who traveled to China by land almost certainly had to pass through Hsi Hsia (which must have been good for the economy).

    Hsi Hsia also, however, shared a border with the Liao Empire (I think). If so, perhaps pressure from the Liao on the north forced the Hsi Hsia to consider taking over Sung territory as a buffer against the Liao threat to the north.
    The emperors of Xixia never liked the Song's military methods in the beginning. They obeyed the Song at the beginning, but after they constructed the Tangut Empire of their own, they began attacking Song after that. It could probably be like what you have said, but I thought there were more to the battles. I believed Xi Xia attacked Song for other purposes too.

    But I thought it was the Khitans who attacked the Song, and Xi Xia decided to do the same? (or something like that?)

  8. #8
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    23,484

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifian
    The emperors of Xixia never liked the Song's military methods in the beginning.
    That changed later. By the time of Genghis Khan, the Hsi Hsia were using Sung military tactics. In fact, Genghis attacked Hsi Hsia first so that he could have a relatively weak enemy against which he could study Sung fighting tactics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifian
    I believed Xi Xia attacked Song for other purposes too.
    Probably the usual...territorial ambition and stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifian
    But I thought it was the Khitans who attacked the Song, and Xi Xia decided to do the same? (or something like that?)
    Yes. The Sung came into conflict with the Khitan first. In fact, the Khitan had been giving that Han Chinese trouble since the latter years of the Tang Dynasty. Hsi Hsia was still an upstart state during the Northern Sung era. Like the Khitan, the Hsi Hsia probably saw Northern Sung as a fat lamb waiting to be carved up.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 46
    Last Post: 11-12-08, 11:03 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-09-08, 04:12 PM
  3. Taiwanese TV series"Bai Se Qing Ren Meng" synopsis
    By Nyar Nyar in forum Taiwanese TV Series
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-01-06, 04:32 AM
  4. On "Legend of Chinese Ghost Stories" Review
    By Mystery in forum On Reviews
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-20-04, 02:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •