Edited by Xiaowei Zang
Chapter 10: Ethnic minority languages and cultures
In chapter 10, Colin Mackerras studies minority languages and cultures. Mackerras outlines government policy towards ethnic minority languages and, with some focus on the twenty-first century, discusses the situation for minority languages. He suggests that minority languages are not doing well among the gathering pace of the spread of Mandarin and Chinese modernization. He also covers topics such as the use of minority languages in the education system. Next, Mackerras discusses minority religions in China, especially Islam and Tibetan Buddhism. He also discusses the situation for the arts among the minorities, including the ways they have functioned in society and become politicized and a form of propaganda for the government since 1949. Finally, Mackerras takes up the complex interrelationships between minority cultures and politics as well as issues of cultural survival. He argues that there is no deliberate government attempt to destroy or undermine minority religions, languages or cultures. However, the process of modernization is gathering momentum everywhere in China, and is inimical to traditional cultures.
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