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The Manchu ethnic minority (10)

(People's Daily)

09:57, August 11, 2011

Manchu Artists

Since 1949 Many Manchu writers and artists have gained fame throughout China since liberation. Cheng Yanqiu was a distinguished Manchu Beijing Opera singer as well as a patriot. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, he quit the stage to show his hatred and contempt for the Japanese aggressors and returned to a quiet life on the western outskirts of Beijing. But soon after the national liberation of the country, he plunged himself into the work of training young opera singers.

Lao She, widely known as a patriotic writer and people's artist, was born into a poor Manchu family and had tasted all the bitterness of life in his childhood. Before liberation he wrote Camel Xiang Zi (or Rickshaw Boy) to make a thorough critique of the old society. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, he founded the National Writers' and Artists' Resistance Association, uniting and organizing Chinese writers and artists for the war against Japan. He continued to write novels after liberation. From 1950 to 1966, he wrote more than a score of plays including Dragon-Beard Ditch, A Woman Shop Assistant and Teahouse, winning wide acclaim among the people.

Luo Changpei, a famous Manchu linguist, was distinguished for his expert knowledge of the dialects and phonology of the Han language and for his studies in phonetic classification of classical Chinese, its pronunciation and its history. He also studied Chinese grammar, compiled dictionaries and promoted researches into the languages of minority nationalities. He helped create the language science of New China.

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