Relationship between grass-root organizations of women and globalization

                                 ----- taking Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu as the specific case

                                                                                                                                                            Luo Xiaoge

     Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu,also called ¡°Female Characters¡±, is the exclusive gender characters in the world. It is a kind of characters which is beyond of men¡¯s understanding, exclucively and locally handed down among women and pronounced by standard of the local dialect. It had ,predominantly,been prevailed along the common border---the river basin of Xiao Shui in Jiangyong County between Hunan and Guangxi,China. According to historical references of current studies, it, mainly, thrived between the end of Ming Dynasty and the beginning of Qing Dynasty. There still remained village culture of nautural way of life in this area, however, this gender characters with local features has come down day by day in the wake of globalization.

   (¢ñ) Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu, a natural way of life among nongovernmentally sworn sisters.

    Up until to 1980s, there were seven elderly women, GaoYinxian,Yi Nianhua, ect. who were labelled as folkly sworn sisters, to be responsible for the nutural lineage of N¨¹ Shu. These very sisters have still kept in emotional touch and communicated with one another by writing of  N¨¹ Shu. Saddly, along with their death one after another, the form of forging sisters among the grass-root organizations of women by employment of N¨¹ Shu has disappeared.

   (¢ò) Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu, a female research group, a project, as well as an academy society brought about by globalization.

    Last century, there came in vogue a boom of ¡°searching for root¡± in Chinese literary world, after which, N¨¹ Shu was discovered. Studies of N¨¹ Shu has also, subsequently,caught the vision of global studies on women. The 95th World Conference on Women ,especially, made N¨¹ Shu¡¯ s international fame increasingly upward in the research of women. Quite a few scholars both inside and outside of China, actively come to Jiangyong for visit and study one after the other at the same time. All of these, consequently, have prompted the local government and cultural department to attach much importance to the protection of N¨¹ Shu. Under the support of government at all levels of Hunan Province, the Park of N¨¹ Shu, the School of N¨¹ Shu, and the Showroom of N¨¹ Shu have been established successively. What is more, the local government should identify the successor of N¨¹ Shu and authorize her a special plate with legal validity. The woman who is authorized can enjoy governmental subsidies for the sake of passing down N¨¹ Shu.

    Simultaneously, to learn and write N¨¹ Shu, and to make knittings decorated with writing sample of N¨¹ Shu have also been developed as a tourism , a family sideline and a professional skill by the local learners of N¨¹ Shu. The local heirs of N¨¹ Shu always forge sisters voluntarily with alien learners of N¨¹ Shu, some of them even are invited outside by their sworn sisters of Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Japan and Hong Kong to interview and impart this special female characters, or to take part in performance of  N¨¹ Shu in those folk-customed festivals.

Apart from Jiangyong itself, there have, additionally, involved College of Arts of Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, Central and South College of nationalities, Hunan University of Commerce, and Hunan Academy of Science and Technology, in which civil institutes of the protection, lineage, and study of  N¨¹ Shu have came into being . Moreover, project groups  have also been set up to study N¨¹ Shu.

    (¢ó) Ecological protection of Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu under the Project of International Fund

    In 2005, subventionized by Ford Fundation of America, ¡°Project of recording the culture of Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu¡± has started in Jiangyong. It aims to achieve long-term goals, to record N¨¹ Shu factually and completely and make sure it be passed down everlastingly, to develop future Common Beauty Village ¡°Ecology Museum of Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu¡± into a base of protection and lineage, a center of collection, exhibition and research, to spare no efforts to enhance people¡¯s knowledge of this peculiar cultural heritage, to folster a group of elites and inheritors who possess strong awareness of culture-protection, to make N¨¹ Shu understood in the world to the utmost extent.

 Here are the indices of the project¡¯s accomplishment:

(1) To establish the Common Beauty Village ¡°Ecology Museum of Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu¡±. i.e, to protect the natural environment of the village against any alteration, to revive the humane surroudings relating to N¨¹ Shu culture, such as folk festivals, singing and dancing, in the purpose of creating a favourable ecology conditions for passing down N¨¹ Shu.

(2) To launch a ¡°Center of Reference and Information¡± inside the Museum on the foundation of the Park of N¨¹ Shu in Common Beauty Village. In this center, an information base for recording and collecting N¨¹ Shu culture is expected to be set up, and an exhibition on historical culture of N¨¹ Shu is also planned to be conducted in order that this exclusive female characters and culture in it should be kept track of and displayed truthfully.

(3) To build up ¡°Digital Museum of Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu¡± by the technology of digitization, which is able to provide a platform for showing and publicizing N¨¹ Shu culture in the virtual space of the Net era.

Units involved in the project are :Department of Culture of Hunan Province, Women¡¯s Federation of Hunan Province, Hunan University, Museum of Hunan Province, Women and Children¡¯s Active Center of Hunan Province, Academy of Marxism of Hunan University, Bureau of Culture of Yongzhou, Publicity Department of Jiangyong County.

Corresponding to my field survey in Jiangyong, the implement of the great project has not only implanted capital for reinstating the folk way of life in the area, but encouraged the local villagers to organize in their initiative. These people, subsequently, has become the memembers of the project¡¯s council. Furthermore, they have become more ready to participate in the management of democracy. Some of those successors who, originally, worked outside at tourist spots have returned to their hometown.


The key to revive Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu is how to achieve the recovery of the natural way of life among grass-root organizations of women. Immersed in the great environment of globalization, N¨¹ Shu have attracted high value of the Studies on Women home and abroad, and an authentic support of International Fundation. However, we have to admit, at the mean time, that it has generated disadvantages inevitably as well. Owing to the Global Economic Integration and the dawn of the age of information network, new generations in Jiangyong are more keen on going outward to town for jobs. The flow of personnel, consequently, make it harder t form the organization of sworn sisters¡¯ natural lineage of  N¨¹ Shu.

Like many other local dramas, dialects and music which gradually declined in the process of globalization, N¨¹ Shu has almost keep with variation of the globalizationa all the time from it being discovered as a ¡°world-significant miracle¡± to being protected and waning.

Therefore, here, I can savely harbour my viewpoint. The organizational guarantee of reviving Jiangyong N¨¹ Shu among the folks lies in the following aspects: how to protect and sponsor the lineage of N¨¹ Shu among nongovernmental organizations of women, how to organize these specail groups, what kind of active space is needed ,and how to conduct acticities.

In short and meanwhile, it is, definitely, a serious project which deserves our exeedingly careful investigation and research.

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