Liang Xiaoying from Leishan in the Guizhou Province, sings two traditional Miao songs, “Song of Spring”
and “Date When We Are Young”, and is shown practicing traditional batik making in her teacher’s home in Kaili. Liang is a participant in the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program China: Tradition and the Art of Living.
“Song of Spring”
The weather gets warmer,
Across the fields and over the mountains.
The spring wind blows through the paddy field,
Creating waves on the water surface.
Just turning green,
Leaves are gradually opening up.
Birds are chirping in the woods.
People are getting ready for the seedtime.
My dear brother, pick up your hoe.
Let’s sow together.
Don’t let time idle away.
“Date When We Are Young”
In this song, the singer uses the metaphor of picking vegetables when they are young and fresh to express that young people should date and experience life when they are young.
Brother, come quickly and pick the vegetables.
Sister, come quickly and pick the vegetables.
Unpicked vegetables will turn old.
Unpicked vegetables will become firewood.
They can only become useful after you pick them.
One can only become strong when they have experienced life.
Videography: Josh Eli Cogan
Editing: Max Lenik