Malqinhu


Malqinhu
(Malaqinhu)
b. 1930, Inner Mongolia
Writer
A Mongolian writer and veteran CCP official, Malqinhu is renowned for imbuing his portrayal of the Mongolian ethnic minority with the Party’s ideology. Malqinhu published his first story in 1951 and quickly rose to fame as one of the first notable minority writers in the PRC. During the 1980s, Malqinhu acted as editor-in-chief of Minzu wenxue [Minority Literature] and Zuojia chubanshe [Writers’ Press] in Beijing. He was appointed general secretary of the Chinese Writers’ Association in 1989.
Malqinhu was among the first PRC writers to set his fiction in the vast Mongolian grassland. In perfect keeping with CCP socialist propaganda, his 1950s and 1960s grassland stories often depict Mongolia’s ‘new life’ as a liberation from the ‘old life’ of slavery. While sharing a humanist sentiment with Scar literature in exposing the horrible crimes of the ‘Gang of Four’ (see Cultural Revolution), Malqinhu’s fiction in the early 1980s attempted to rehabilitate the Party’s political and ideological legitimacy. In his short story ‘Walking in the Deep Snow’ (Taguo shenshen de jixue), Malqinhu portrays a Mongolian official who ignores her own political trauma while sparing no effort in uniting with the herdsmen and correcting the Party’s mistakes. Malqinhu also won the National Excellent Short Story Prize for ‘The Story of a Living Buddha’ (Huofo de gushi, 1980), which criticizes certain Buddhist practices as superstitious and inhuman. Besides its ideological significance, the rich Mongolian local colour in his works may also explain why they have been translated into more than ten languages.
Malqinhu (1990). ‘Love that Burns on a Summer’s Night’. Trans. Simone Jouhnstone. In Love that Burns on a Summer Night. Beijing: Panda Books, 231–313.
ZHANG YULONG
Manchus
About 10 million Manchus mainly live in north-east China, in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. Since the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), which was ruled by the Manchus, large numbers moved to the Han regions south of the Great Wall and have been largely assimilated into the Han Chinese culture. They have their own spoken and written languages, but most now generally speak baihua/Guoyu and write Han characters. Some of the Manchu legacies still around are: (1) the qipao, cheongsam, a close-fitting dress flared at the base with a rolled-up hem reaching to the ankle. It has long become the national costume of Chinese women; (2) Man-Han quanxi [the complete banquet of the Manchu and the Han] was revived when wining and dining at public expense became epidemic in the 1980s and was made famous in Tsui Hark’s film The Chinese Feast (Man Han quanxi, 1995).
Although the 108 dishes and 44 courses of dim sum—which take three days to consume—hardly fit present-day society, various dishes popular in the Qing palace are still prepared today in the restaurants of big hotels; and (3) saqima, a common sweet snack. Besides the royal families in history, the Manchus have produced many celebrities, e.g. the linguist Luo Changpei (1899–1958); the founder of the Cheng school of Peking Opera, Cheng Yanqiu (1904–58); and the writer Lao She (1899–1966). Their works or performances are still heavily studied. Tan Jie is a contemporary Manchu author whose lengthy works of reportage literature, The Heavenly Way (Tiandao), Thick Soil (Houtu) and Holy Hands (Shengshou), and a prose collection, Children of the Great Liao River (Daliaohe de er’nümen), are well known.
Crossley, Pamela Kyle (1997). The Manchus. (The Peoples of Asia series.) Oxford: Blackwell.
HELEN XIAOYAN WU

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.


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