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Video: Exploring Yunnan alcohol culture with Shanren Band

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Shanren Band
Shanren Band

Traveling the Yunnan countryside, one will almost invariably encounter beautiful scenery, incredible biodiversity and fascinating ethnic minorities. The chances are also high that some kind of local alcohol will be involved.

Yunnan may be known to many travelers for its wild ganja, but it is also one of China's tipsiest provinces. In addition to baijiu, there are also plenty of other local varieties of booze from which to choose: paojiu, shuijiu, mijiu and baogujiu are just a few.

Instead of drinking while playing card games or in between bits of idle bar chatter, many people in Yunnan's countryside can't help but get up, grab an instrument and start to sing and dance. This combination makes for some amazing travel experiences, and some amazing hangovers.

Beijing-based Shanren Band (山人乐队) was formed in Kunming 10 years ago by three Yunnan natives and a friend from Guizhou. After relocating to China's capital, they were eventually joined by Sam Debell, who for ages was a fixture in the Kunming/Yunnan music scene.

The band, which fuses traditional ethnic music from Yunnan and Guizhou with elements of rock, reggae and ska, recently toured remote areas of Yunnan, bringing their music back to the people who inspired it. In the process they consumed no small amount of alcohol, much of which was captured on video.

In the above video, the band is on the receiving end of local hospitality in the form of rivers of alcohol, whether they want it or not. The accompanying music is the famous song "The booze song" (酒歌), which includes lyrics such as "You like to drink?/You still need to drink!/Don't like to drink?/You still need to drink!" ("你喜欢?/也要喝!/不喜欢?/也要喝!").

Image: Pangbianr

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amazing! miss the tradish garb and the sweet burn in my gullet...

i'll be sharing this with everyone i know around here.....

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