When I was little we had a giant picture book called People or something. [Pause for internet search... here it is!] I remember that I could just look at that book forever. It's full of drawings of... people. The idea being that people come in all shapes and sizes, all colors, with all different sorts of eyes and noses and ways of dressing. (There may have been something about eating in there, too... Either there or my beloved Usborne encyclopedia, something about people eating dog.) Sure, it's total hippie propaganda, but the drawings were great, and something about that deep variety captivated my little imagination, like Where's Waldo of the whole world. Even just thinking about it now I want to lay belly-down on my bedroom floor and just look and look and look. So many details. Ahhh.
And I'm thinking of that now because I got some of that feeling back looking at these amazing pictures that I found via The Awl. It's a photo gallery of the 56 "officially recognized nationalities" of China, and I think it's pretty awesome. (I remember now that I had a similar I-could-look-at-this-for-a-long-time reaction to the photos of families with what they eat in a week.) A few thoughts:
- Is it not as cold as I thought it is in Mongolia, or are those shirtless guys just total badasses?
- What amazing conversation are the Ethnic Manchu having?
- I like the realism the Ethnic Tujia put into their staging.
- I bet the Ethnic Kirgiz and the Ethnic Kazak have a frilly-stuff rivalry.
- I am for some probably racist reason always fascinated by Russian-looking people who are Chinese, and vice versa.