CyberFair Project ID: 5416

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Nadun Festival ----The longest carnival in the world
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Minhe No. 2 Middle School, Qinghai Province
    Xi ning, Qinghai Province, China

5 students, ages between 16 and 17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 18, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Qin Yong-lin, Tie Yao-ping, Feng Yuan-qing,Tang Liang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Minhe County is in the east of Qinghai Province, which is one of the vegetable and fruit production areas in the whole province. It’s called the “Door of Qinghai.”The Tu nationality occupies 12% of the whole population, while Hui occupies 46%.

The Nadun Festival (meaning 'entertainment' and 'carnival' in the Tu language) is a unique folk activity among the Tu ethnic people concentrated in the Sanchuan area of Minghe County, Northwest China's Qinghai Province.

The festival is held after harvesting the wheat in the summer, and usually lasts 63 days from July 12 to September 15 on the lunar calendar. It's no wonder that some people call it the longest carnival in the world. Throughout the festival, the whole Tu nationality is in revelry and Tu villages are immersed in thundering drum beatings and a sea of songs.

2. Summary of Our Project

The Nadun carnival is a kind of mass Dance and drama, which reflects Tu’s politics, economy, culture and evolution. For example, Crop Qi is the reflection of agricultural industry, while Three Generals and Five General are the reflection of social practice, and The General That Killed the Tiger is the reflection of human’s fighting against nature. Our research tries to show the folk culture in our hometown from different aspects. We believe that our team members are trained to improve their communication and problem solving ability.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our school has broad band system in campus since 2004. All team members come from rural areas, so we have no computers at home. We make use of the lunch hour and other spare time for making web pages.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

This is both an opportunity and challenge for us to participate in Cyber Fair. It’s a good chance for us to show customs and environment in our hometown. In interviewing of Nadun carnival, we face many difficulties, including limited time, many tasks, language barrier, no interview experience and etc. how to adapt to strange environment has become the biggest problem.

Arriving at the village holding Nadun carnival, our first problem is that we are too shy to ask questions to senior artists. Thanks to our teacher, Mr. Qin Yong-lin, introduced several artists to us. When answering questions, those artists speak half Turkish and half mandarin, which is too hard for us to understand. We are afraid that what we guess is wrong. However, the teacher encourages us to repeat the question. Finally, Mr. Qin said that our work is better than expected. The interview not only steels our will, but also broadens our vision.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

According to interview senior artists and watching dances, we feel the deep history of Nadun, in which The General That Killed the Tiger reflects that the Turkish ancestors change social history; and Crops Qi reflects that the history of local people’s productivity and life. Mr. Ma Guang-xing, the expert of Tu culture, said that Nadun is the living fossil of Tu history. Thus, it is necessary for us to prevent and save this intangible cultural heritage, which is conducive to maintain cultural variety and promote ethnic groups’ prosperity.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Concentrated in the Huzhu Autonomous County in the eastern part of Qinghai province, the Tu nationality has a population of about 190,000. The Tus speak a language belonging to the Mongolian branch of the Altaic family, but used the Chinese and the Tibetan scripts. Nadun is a living fossil for people to understand Tu’s culture, history and custom, which is also a good opportunity to maintain Tu’s tradition. That’s why we choose Nadun as the title of our project to participate in Cyber Fair.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

(1) Hardware facilities: computer, digital camera, recorder, scanner, flash disk, scanner. (2) Computer software: Dream weaver for webpage editing, Photoshop for graphic processing, Microsoft Word for textual information editing, Outlook Express for receiving and sending mails, Internet Explorer for browsing website, ACDSee for image browsing, CuteFTP for transmitting information. (3) Internet: E-mail, message board, FTP server, broad band modem.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We consider it our responsibility to make the public understanding the 'history of Nadun Festival', thus we should play the role of 'community ambassadors' and reveal this history to others.

We have tried to tell others what we know and introduced Nadun Festival to school mates and villagers.

We realize our research result in the form of signboards, as well as a homepage hosted by the school website. Apart from being a resource for countryside education, the homepage also allows citizens to deepen their understanding of the local history through the Internet. The website we make is believed to make more people know about Nadun Festival.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

According to interview and research, we get to know the origin of Nadun, its programs, and many other things. However, with the development of economy, many youths go to work in other places after autumn harvest, thus they have no time to participate in it. All the old performers are above 80 years old and some has gone. It’s quite dangers to have no successors of Nadun, which should draw government’s and social attention. We plan to draw government and society’s attention to protect this cultural wealth.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We interviewed Town Talent Technologies in order towebpage construction.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have got a better knowledge of Nadun Festival’s history. The activity has enhanced our teamwork spirit and improved our communicating and interpersonal abilities.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5416)

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