|女儿国 The Kingdom of Women
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/08 12:02 视听英语Ladder AI杂志
A unique tribe and its culture face new challenges from the outside world.
Imagine a people whose language has no word for “marriage” or “husband”. Just such a tribe lives in the remote mountains of southeastern China. Lake
Mosuo culture revolves around women: the women make all the important decisions, control the family’s resources, and pass their surnames onto their children. Rather than marry, a Mosuo woman takes many lovers over her lifetime, and the resulting children will always live with her. While the Mosou language has a word for “mother”, there is no word for “father” and Mosuo children refer to all older men as “uncle”.
Getting to Lake Lugu isn’t easy, and the isolation from the outside world helped the tribe keep their customs and culture intact. A generation ago, few outsiders had ever heard of Lake Lugu or the Mosuo.
But after anthropologists first started to document the tribe’s customs, word got out about the uniqueness of their culture and the beauty of the lake. These reports attracted travelers and, at times, this once-isolated paradise seems filled with tourists who’ve come to gawk at the locals. Along with the visitors come stories of the outside world, tempting the young to leave home for the big cities in search of new opportunities.
For better or worse, the unique world of the Mosuo people is changing. Many of the older Mosuo women prefer the old days, before the outsiders came with their strange clothing and stranger ideas. But most agree that change is inevitable. And some of the younger Mosuo women are speaking openly about getting married – a concept their grandmothers still don’t understand.