Yunnan ELP Reflection

On the first day in Yunnan, I visited the famous local night market. Though the place emitted a strong air of south-west Chinese culture, it still felt strange to believe that it was a place that strongly related to the local life. As the tour guide described: “a place designed for tourists”, the night market mixed a lot of random food and product from all over China.

When I visited the Qinhuai River in Nanjin before, there was also advertisements on the old buildings which have experience the history. Then I started to think. Why I don’t like those commercial things in high culture density places? How such situation is formed? How should we view it?

The answer to the first question was that the goal of the marketplace and me is different. My goal was to experience local food and culture, while the marketplace’s goal was to make more money. Also, it seemed that most of the tourists have different goals with me. Is this a normal situation? No matter what the answer is, tourists have their own will, and I should not limit them with my simple logic.

Thinking how a place full of local culture becoming a place with commercial atmosphere is somehow horrifying for me. The tourists coming from other places changes the criteria of “good”. Totally tradition may be viewed good for the locals but not for the tourists, because they have their views. And this view is brought into the development of the locals. It seems that the aggression in culture is unavoidable, however, is such aggression always bad? Various ways of living have been forsaken by people, and is such local culture needed to be preserved? They can be preserved in museums, but there seems to be no need for them to exist in the society.

I used to feel that adding commercial things into tradition is unreasonable. But now I feel that this world operates under the ultra-rules and we should view everything calmly and objectively.

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