The Love-Suicide Mystique of Naxi: Experiential Tourism and Existential Authentic
Frontiers of History in China
Ethnic Tourism, Love-Suicide, Existential Authenticity, Naxi
Love-suicide (xunqing 殉情) is often hailed as a representative component of the Naxi culture. This article examines how representations of love-suicide have transformed from an obscure social taboo to an invaluable Naxi tradition in the last two decades. While Han and Naxi cultural elites aestheticize love-suicide as a cultural symbol of moral sublimity, tourists further transform the discourse into a simultaneously spiritual and erotic experience in which they seek and create their own existential authenticity. The apparent revival is not simply a result of Naxi political resistance to the external regime or a natural return to their “authentic” culture. It rather marks another tide of radical transformation in a multi-agent and highly commercialized global world within which both minority cultures and tourists’ identities are transformed.
Copyright © 2015 Brill. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
Du, C. (2015). The love suicide mystique: Fabricating authentic Naxi culture in contemporary China. Frontiers of History in China, 10(3), 485-512. doi: 10.3868/s020-004-015-0023-1