Must-know to Minority Areas

Experiencing the minority culture is the highlight of visiting minority areas in China; most local villagers are genuinely kind and hospitable to foreigners, but remember you are a guest there and behave accordingly based on the guide’s rules.

Below are some taboos or don't do list for some minority groups in China:

Customs or Taboos of the Zhuang
1. A guest will not enter a woman's room when she has a three week’s baby or above

2. A visiting couple could not sleep in the same room;

3. Zhuang people did not kill animals on the first day of the first lunar month
4. In some areas, young ladies are forbidden to eat beef or meats of dogs;

5. When a foreigner climbs up to the bamboo building of a Zhuang family, he should take off his shoes;

6. A pregnant woman is not allowed on the wedding ceremony, and she can’t look at the bride then.

Taboos of the Yao People
1. Respect old people and children; don’t speak rude before a woman;

2. A woman who has a baby in thirty-three days will not allow carrying on water;

3. If guest praise the fact cattle, the yao people think that it will bring some disaster for the family;

4. Dietary taboos: don't eat meats of dog, cat, snack.

Taboos of the Miao People
1. Miao people will present a toast when somebody visiting their house, just have a small symbolical sip if not good at drinking;

2. Don't step over children’s head, to ensure the children can grow taller;

3. Pregnant women should not eat meat from old yellow cows, sows, roosters or little fish; vegetables or spicy food are forbidden in a short period after giving birth;

4. Children are forbidden to play with arrows at home in case they accidently shoot the ghosts of their dead ancestors;

5. "Miaozi" is the worst words insulting against Miao people, so don’t use it;

Taboos of Dong People
1. Pregnant women should not watch new houses being built; not allowed to attending a wedding ceremony or sacrifice to gods;

2. Chopsticks should not be tapped on bowls, as this is reminiscent of beggars' behavior;

3. Women cannot give birth in their mothers' home;

4. Unmarried men should not eat pig feet;

5. Moving to new house always arrange at night;

6. Main entrances of two houses should not directly face each other, which is believed to cause quarreling between these families;

Taboos of Naxi People
There are many traditional customs in Naxi people’s daily life:

1. Be good to the children at a naxi people’s house, don’t abuse her/him;
2. Don't enter the elder’s or women’s bedrooms without permission;

3. The host won’t close the door until the guest walking away and can’t be see;

4. Don't praise a one-month old baby by saying beautiful or weighty; “strong” or "healthy" are more acceptable;

5. The first visitor to the house in which a baby has just been born is regarded as "the guest of honor;

6. At dinner, it is not allowed to clash bows, turn over dishes or eat dishes constantly; the host should help the guests with dishes and guests should not leave rice in the bowl.

Taboos of Bai People
1. Bai people always visit friends or relatives in afternoon or evening; and a guest is not allowed to step on or sit on the doorsill;

2. Medicines are tabooed to bring to others’ house. On the way to fetch a doctor, it is unlucky to meet someone carrying a hoe or dustpan;

3. If two brides happen to meet on the way to bridegrooms’ home, they should change handkerchiefs;

4. Pregnant women should not pick fruit from trees, making bed for bride or even touch the grave clothes and shoes;

5. It is forbidden to move furniture, hammer nails or rock randomly when women is pregnant; and husband can’t kill snakes or even involving in funerals.

6. During the celebration of lunar New Year, women are forbidden to visit others on the first day or lunar month or doing needlework; children do not have their hair cut during the first 15 day of first lunar month; and the door will keep closed when having family dinners.


Taboos of Tibetan People
1. Tibetan people do not kill living things, and they don’t eat horse, dog or donkey meats; some won’t eat fish, shrimps, chickens and egg;

2. Don't dink or eat mouthful when visiting Tibetan family, do not chew food or drink soup noisily;

3. Do not accept or give things to others with one hand;

4. When the host present you a cup of wine, dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine in air three times to express your respect to heaven, earth and ancestors before sipping the wine; when the host fill your cup, lower the cup with two hands and take a sip again; After the host fills your cup for the forth time, you have to bottom it up;

5. When the host presents a cup of ghee tea, don’t drink directly; the host will hold the cup with both hands towards you then you can take the tea;

6. Do not whirl round the prayer wheels anticlockwise;

7. Don't enter the monastery without permission; any smoke or photography inside the halls of temple; it is forbidden to touch the statue of Buddha and religious articles.


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