Within China there are fifty-five recognized ethnic minority groups. These groups today feel pressure to integrate into modern society. Most groups try to retain their traditions, but in order to make a living, most are forced to give up on their traditional lifestyles and focus on the attraction of tourism. This shift in lifestyles is leading to the death of traditional languages and cultures. Groups must assimilate and decide if being different is an asset or a liability.
So many ethnic groups are shifting their cultures in order to make a realistic living. Tourism has become an extremely efficient way to increase revenues within a society. The shift most are facing is from an agricultural lifestyle to attempting to please any and all tourists. The groups are forced to modify their traditions in order to attract the most tourists they can.
One ethnic minority group that has tried desperately to keep their traditions alive, while appealing to outsiders are the Koreans. China is home to many foreign ethnic groups that migrated from bordering countries. Like most ethnic groups, they came to China looking for more prosperous opportunities. The Koreans are slightly different in the fact that a majority of them traveled to China during a period of war and famine within their home country. They were left with no choice; most them were forced to leave everything behind and start with nothing. It is no wonder that this minority group has been forced to give up past traditions for a chance at survival.
Even today, migrants from Korean are still entering China for the same reasons. Although it may be in drastically different numbers, the only difference is most of them are coming specifically from North Korea. Groups like this are still finding refuge in China. Koreans that come to China are forced with a decision, should they sacrifice traditions even more to live prosperously or suffer and remain faithful to their ancestors?
Some Koreans are actually deciding to move back to the their country that is divided country. With the strong government presence in the North, the Koreans feel that the only place they can keep their traditions alive are in China, which has its price, or back in South Korea. This shift has come from the recently growth in prosperity within South Korea. However, not all Korean minority groups are able to make this move. The ones left behind are the ones that need to make the decision of altering their traditions to please tourists.
I will be presenting my final project for this assignment in a National Geographic style article. The article will be divided into five sections. The first section will act as an introductory section that will provide details about what this minority group looks like today in China. I will just elaborate on size and location in this section, giving a broad overview. From here, I will dive into the depth of my article.
The next section will focus on why this ethnic group needed to find refuge. I will then discuss why they decided to live within China, and not other bordering countries. This section will go into details about the people themselves, their skills, education levels, and the culture that came with them. Most Koreans that came to China were educated and skilled workers. How has that shifted over time? This will lead me nicely into my next section.
I will then discuss how time has shifted the lifestyle and culture between traditional Koreans and the ethnic group that resided within China. More specifically, how tourism has overwhelmed the Korean minority group into compromising traditions and values.
After that, I will come back to the introductory section of the article to discuss how the Koreans maintain day-to-day life. I will highlight the changes that have come with time and what is next for these people that call China home. I will also try to provide some traditions that have been lost and some that have been created for this ethnic group. While I will talk about how tourism has changed the group, I will also elaborate on how time itself often changes cultures and traditions. Not all of it gets lost, most just gets edited.
I will then conclude the article by tying all loose ends together. I will highlight all main points and topics, while giving my own opinion on what I learned from analyzing this specific ethnic group within China.
I decided to write a National Geographic style article because I thought it would be the most appropriate and interesting way to present the massive amount of information gathered about this one ethnic group. The lay out for the article will be as accurate as possible. I will add accurately detailed pictures and headings and subheadings where appropriate.