Good afternoon, everybody! Today I would like to talk about customs of Miao nationality in our country. Now it has a population of more than 7 million. Half of them live in Guizhou province, and others dwell in Yunnan, Hunan, Sichuan and other places. They have their own language and characters which are just as this image showed. Their houses, which are called Diao Jiao Lou, were built of wood with national feature. The foothold of the house look precarious, but it is actually steady and safe. The music and dance there has a long history, this picture shows Tai Ping Xiao, this one describes Tiao Yue, and this one expresses Gu Wu. Miao women's beautiful skirts and silver accouterments are known all over the world for their nice work. They have lots of festivals, such as Climbing Festival, Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival etc.
Now let me introduce you some interesting customs of Miao nationality.
Lu Sheng Wu will be the first. Lu Sheng's sound is bright and thick, and could be played by both men and women. When celebrating the New Year, getting married or building new house, people always hold Lu Sheng in hands, sing and dance gladly to express their happiness. When people play Lu Sheng, they can also do some difficult activities such as handstand, rolling, climbing rods, human pyramid and so on. That's really surprising. Reed-pipe Wind Instrument Festival is traditional. It is not only for trading, but also for youth to find a lover. During the festival, competing horse skill, ball sports and other events will be held. Festival in different area is different greatly. Dragon Boat Festival, Flower Mountain Festival, Eating New Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, and other festival are go after one another. Tramping Flower Mountain event is important. A couple who can have bear a baby plant a tree near the village and hang a bottle of wine on for praying a child. Young man and woman will dance and sing under the tree, and many of them fall in love. (来源：英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
Then we will look at Miao's marriage custom. "Pinch finger" is one way for Miao guys to express their love. When lots of people get together in festivals, the guy would crowd to his lover silently and pinch her finger gently. If the girl wants to accept the guy's love, she will pinch the guy's finger as a response, otherwise she won't do anything and the guy would know he is rejected. Once the love relationship is established, the young man and woman will date as other lovers. They make marks with branches, leaves, weeds and wild flowers with different meaning: weed mark means dating, flower mark expresses the secret meeting, while weeds and flowers linking together shows the decision of marriage. After associating for some time, lovers would exchange keepsakes such as towel, cigarettes, silver hairpin etc. Later, they will tell their parents, and the guy's parents would invite a matchmaker to propose for him, then the marriage date would be settled.
Thirdly, I will talk about girls' beautiful skirts. It is said that, a long time ago, a peacock saw a Miao girl; it spread its wings to compare with the girl's skirt, but it was failed and flied away jealously. The legend shows people's praise of these girls' hard-working. All girls there can embroider. Once a girl was born, her mother would try her best to teach her identifying different colors. By the time the girl could use needle and thread, her mother would teach her to embroider, because a girl who can't embroider well, no mater how beautiful she is, won't attract guys' attention.
In my opinion, Miao is a kind, simple and hard-working nationality. They have retained a lot of interesting customs. I wish I can go to their inhabitation one day, and the same to you.