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YANG Lihui, Beijing Normal University

Displaying Folklore to the World 2008 Olympic Games and the International Folkloric Tourism in Gaobeidian Village, Beijing



2008 Olympic Games is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in contemporary China. So far researches on it mainly focus on its political and economical influences on China. Based on my recent fieldwork, this paper will explore the impacts of the Olympiad on the transmission and transformation of folk traditions in Gaobeidian, a suburb village of Chaoyang district in Beijing. In 2005, with the help of the District Tourism Bureau, an “International Folkloric Tourism” formally started in this village. Especially designed to attract foreign tourists who come to Beijing before and during the Olympic games, the tourism aims to find more working opportunities for those farmers who lost their lands because of Beijing’s modernization, and at the same time, to represent multiple images to the world: the village itself, Beijing, and China. The author will try to answer such questions so far seldom been studied: how did the 2008 Olympic Games influence the transmission and transformation of folk traditions in a village? And how did it influence local people’s attitudes towards folklore? What kind of roles did folk traditions play in the international tourism? What forms of folklore were chosen to be displayed to the foreigners? And, how about the folk traditions after the Olymics?

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Dr. Sigrun Abels
Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (CCST)
sec. KAI 1-4
Room KAI 1.114
104-106/10553 Berlin

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