How-to China: German vlogger enchanted with Chinese culture

Updated: Feb 9, 2022 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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German vlogger Robert Adolf take pictures with Miao People. The women sit beside Adolf are his two Sui godmothers. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Q: What stories do you tell to show China and Chinese culture in the documentaries about ethnic groups in China? How is it going? Can you give us some details in advance?

Adolf: The Chinese ethnic culture and tradition is so rich and I couldn't help but try and record them all. My main focus is to film the authentic life of China's ethnic groups.

There is a lot of interesting stuff coming up in the documentaries. Besides all the unique handicrafts of the different ethnic groups, I also had a lot of touching personal encounters. 

When filming the Sui people I first contacted two aunties who are filming short videos on Douyin to learn the traditional craft of horse hair embroidery (马尾绣). Once I arrived, they treated me like their own son and I spent more time than anticipated there and celebrated the New Year of the Sui people which lasts a total of over 50 days. The two aunties became my Sui godmothers.

And I once attended a once-in-13-years Miao festival of Guzang, the Miao new year, with over 5,000 attendees in a tiny mountain village. I have never heard of a festival which isn't celebrated yearly so I was very surprised and excited to hear about it. It is celebrated for a total of 13 days and on the last day over 4,000 Miao people danced around the drum all dressed in traditional festive clothing (me included).

I also can't forget walking one hour over rice terraces to a remote village which isn't accessible via road in Rongjiang county, Guizhou province.

Overall, the people I met are all down-to-earth and sincere, and I feel warmth around them.

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