Performing troupes take root in north China's prairie
INNER MONGOLIA -- In north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, more than 70 troupes travel from one grazing site to another to perform for herders in some of the country's most remote areas. The troupes are known as Ulan Muqir, or "red bud."
The vast pastoral areas of Inner Mongolia are sparsely populated.
In the 1950s, those living there suffered due to poor transportation and communications infrastructure, as well as a lack of recreation. The region's government decided to organize a small performing group to bring art and entertainment to the prairie and enrich the lives of herders, leading to the creation of the Ulan Muqir troupes.
On June 17, 1957, the first Ulan Muqir troupe was founded in Sunite Right Banner. At that time, they only had two curtains, three gas lamps, a handful of musical instruments and a few costumes.
Since then, generations of artists have performed for herders and have taken root on the prairie.
Not only did Ulan Muqir perform for the herders, they also helped them with shepherding and sheep-shearing, and sent them medicines and kept them informed about the country.
The year of 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of Ulan Muqir. In October, 16 performers of the Sunite Right Banner Ulan Muqir troupe wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying they were committed to the development of socialist literature and art.
In November, Xi wrote back, calling on them to promote literary and artistic innovation and continue producing excellent works.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service