Jul 8, 2013
Our First Royal Visit
ACCI was honoured to receive our first royal visit on June 24, 2013!
Dr. Mingying La, a princess of the Na (Mosuo) people from the northwest of China, came to explore our unique culture and exchange ideas about cultural preservation. Dr. Mingying La, who is associated with the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, was joined by Madame Cao Jian Ping, the director of the Mosuo Cultural Museum in Lugu Lake. They were accompanied by Dr. Shaoting Yin, the Head of Anthropology Museum at Yunnan University, Mrs. Wuyun Tuya, a PhD candidate from Lanzhou University in China, and Dr. Qing Li, from the University of Ottawa.
The Na people are an ethnic minority in China facing similar challenges to us. Like us, the Na are concerned with cultural maintenance wishing to preserve their culture for future generations and assist younger generations in learning about their culture. As we recognize at ACCI, future generations are the key to survival for any culture; working to preserve invaluable objects important to knowledge of our history, and creating engaging and relevant learning opportunities is at the heart of much of our work.
The Na have a unique language that many younger Na today loosing proficiency in. As in Eeyou Istchee, there is a great deal of work by the Na to be completed to ensure the survival of their language. The Na language, like Cree, has an oral tradition; the history of their people was learned by priests and passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. Because the use of writing system aids in language maintenance, the Na are urgently working to create a written form of the Na language. They will use this writing system to ensure that their history and stories are recorded for future generations.
Having a visit from a very interesting group of people is not new to ACCI. We welcome unique groups often, but the opportunity to welcome a royal guest was a first for us. We tried our best to be of use to them as part of their mission of learning. We discussed our work and what we do to protect and preserve our culture and cultural objects. After coming to see our state of the art building, the group left with ideas about to how to run their cultural centre so that it can be highly effective in achieving their vision. Hopefully this new found partnership will bring forward wonderful opportunities to share and discuss in the future!
For more information about the Mosuo and their cultural development project, please check out their website.