"Eighteen Oddities" of Yunnan
Yunnan used to be an isolated frontier region in
China. Yet, 25 ethnic minority groups reside there. Meanwhile, Yunnan
boasts of different climatic zones. The great differences in folk customs
and climatic diverse in Yunnan always made newcomers find them strange
and can't understand. As a result, the 18 oddities which are actually descriptions about
Yunnan, gained its popularity among the ordinary people. With the
development of communications and economy, some of the oddities about
Yunnan have become things of the past; however, they present a glimpse
of this fascinating land. The 18 oddities are as follows:
1: Eggs Are Sold By Bundle
People who live on some hilly areas bundle up eggs vertically
with straws and take the bundle to the market for sale. The tradition
is still prevalent in some areas of Yuanyang, Luchun and Jinping etc.
2: Trains Go Abroad But Not Inland
Yunnan's first railway was built between 1901 and 1910, which
goes from Kunming to Hanoi, Vietnam. At that time, the Kunming-Hanoi
railway was the only railway in Yunnan.
3: Young Girls Called "Old Lady"
In some areas of Yunnan, local people pronounce “young girl”
and “old lady” the same. In inland China, the pronunciation only has
the meaning of young girl.
4: Pies Called "Erkuai"
Erkuai is a local snack. It is in the shape of thin pies with
the raw material of rice.It can be boiled, fried, or braised.
5: Straw Hat Used as Wok Lid
In the countryside of south Yunnan, many farmers use
hat-looking straw wok lids woven by local artisans. Owing to bad
communications, local people make full use of materials easily
6: Stone Grows in the Clouds
The rocks in the famous scenic spot of "Stone Forest" in
Yunnan look as if stalagmites sprung up from underground. After 270
million years of growing, these rocks took their shapes of towering
7: Rain in the East but Sunshine in
Because of the high altitude and low latitude in Yunnan, the
climate is greatly changeable, and the rain comes and goes quickly.
8: Grasshoppers Make a Delicious
The grasshopper is a delicacy. Usually, the
grasshoppers are stir-fried. It turned out to be crispy and aromatic.
9: Fresh Flowers Served as
According to botanists, there are more than 160 species of
edible flowers on the local people' diet. The flowers often need to
be kept in water for some time before cooking, but the ways to cook
them are not different from the vegetables.
10: The Same Clothes for All Four
Kunming, capital city of Yunnan, is known as “spring city”
for its mild climate in all four seasons and most areas around Kunming
share the same climate. People may wear the same dress in different
11: Bamboo Pipe Used for Smoking
The smoking pipe is very common in the countryside in Yunnan. It is usually made of bamboo with a small tube fitted into the lower part of the pipe. When smoking, the pipe is filled with water, and a gurgling sound is heard.
12: Water and Fire Worshiped as Gods
The worship of water and fire has been a long tradition among
the ethnic minorities. Water is the source of life, which sustains
the people. With fire, people get warmth and brightness. Being closely
related to myths and legends, water and fire are widely worshipped.
13: Toes Exposed All Year Round
In some poor mountainous areas, people wear straw-woven shoes
with the front parts open, so the toes are exposed. Meanwhile, because
of the nice climate, people wear the shoes all year round.
14: People Sing Rather Than Talk
Among many ethnic minorities in Yunnan, people like to show
hatred, love, grief, and happiness by singing. When working in the
field, or in everyday life, people always like to sing. Young couples
often got engaged in singing competitions.
15: Children Taken Care of By Men
In some areas of Yunnan, women are hard-working and do
the harder work of the household, while men stay at home taking care
16: Grannies Climb Mountains Faster
Because the women work hard since very young age, they are
trained to be athletic, women even in their 70s and 80s can climb
mountains as if walking on flat land.
17: Monks Can Be in Love with Woman
In Yunnan's bordering areas, where the Hinayana Buddhism is
prevalent, men can go back to the secular life to get married after
some period of practicing in the temple.
18: Houses built in the Air
In the subtropical areas in south Yunnan, where it is humid
and rainy, local houses were stilted. The wind coming from all
directions circulates under the house. Thus it's cool and dry to live in.