Phase 3: Interpreting Information
In this Phase, I will be gathering some background information before and during the trip. In Phase 0 I considered and narrowed down the list of possible topics. In Phase 1 I finalized my decision on my chosen topic and gather basic background information for it.
Background Information (From Phase 1)
Xizhou is a small village in the Yunnan province of China. The population is 2,500 people.The Bai people are one of 25 or so minority groups in the Yunnan Province. Xizhou means "happy town." This small village lies on a fertile strip of land between Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountains.[1,2]
After talking with my mom I realized that the people in the village do not have as much access to social media as people in the city would. This causes or allows people to be more social face to face. Based off of what I have read and seen in museums, the children play games with rocks or play tag while the adults play board games and talk.
Some local recreations include playing Mahjong, Table Tennis, Badminton, Karaoke, and shopping. Kids will often play sports or computer games, teens will normally smoke in their free time, while adults will spend their time playing Mahjong. Mahjong is a very popular game and is a part of most elder's daily routines.
Mahjong is usually played by older women, but sometimes by men. It is usually played by four people. The game involves skill, strategy, calculation, and chance. Mahjong was invented around Confucian time. Mahjong’s original name má que means “sparrow.” It was spread to other countries such as America, Japan, Korea, Europe, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 
Local children will often go swimming, kayaking, and canoeing in the local lake, Erhai Lake. Also, children in the village are very serious about their education. Children will often spend their free time taking extra classes, studying,or doing extra school work. Sometimes teachers will infuse recess recreations into a lesson to help teach kids.
Parents in Xizhou are very concerned about their children’s wellbeing. Parents are especially protective when it comes to their daughters. They want them to have good grades and want what is best for their daughters. Parents care a lot about their children’s grades, and who they spend their free time with. Often times parents will force their daughters to do things against their will.
Information from 3 - 5's
Mr. Zhao was one of the people that I interviewed for my 3-5's. He told me about the traditional opera here in Dali. He said that he knew some of the people that were in the Opera. He also told me that some people like to gamble at the lottery or while playing Mahjong. I talked to him on Monday 21, 2016 around 5 pm.
Ms. Chu told me about how there are some Tibetan Minorities here in Dali. I talked to her on Monday 21, 2016 around 4:30 pm.
Ms. Mai told me that I should talk to the kitchen staff about their families. They have interesting stories about how they grew up and about their families. I talked to Ms. Mai on Monday 21, 2016 around 4:45 pm.
After talking to my 3-5's I learned that there is an opera here in Dali and that Mahjong and gambling are popular. This information with help me to better understand my topic because these people actually know this village and have seen people in the village doing these things.
Information from Locals
23/11/16 Yang Ru Qong
- He has a younger brother that is 6 years old
- He was born and raised in this village
- He enjoys playing games on his mom's phone and on his computer
- He also enjoys watching tv which he only does for about 30 minutes a day
- He also enjoys playing soccer with his friends for fun
- One of his favorite games to play is hide and seek
- He likes to spend his free time hanging out with friends
- School and socializing are equally important to him
- He is very independent and gets his work done by himself
11/23/16 Ms. Yang
- Works at the Golden Flower restaurant in Si Fang Jie
- Has been working there for 20 years
- Her husband, Mr. Yang, is the owner of the restaurant
- She has an older son and an older daughter that are both grownups now
- She has two grandsons, one of them I talked to
- She doesn't even know how to use a computer
- She does not participate in social media either
- She only uses her phone for calling and texting
- Not many people in her generation were well educated
- She had to be independent because her parents said it was up to her whether or not she received an education
- When she spent time with friends they mostly sang, danced, and talked
11/24/16 Fu Ayi
- Mostly takes care of Sofie but does other things around Yang Zhuo Ran
- She was not born here in Xizhuo
- Moved here 13 years ago
- Started to work at Yang Zhuo Ran about 3 years ago
- Her husband died 3 years ago and she only has her mother-in-law and son with her in Xizhuo
- She started to work here to help earn extra money after her husband had passed away
- She told me that she doesn't have very much free time because she has to balance a job and taking care of her son and mother-in-law
- She enjoys stitching with her mother-in-law
- She can make the inserts that go inside shoes
- Recently she hasn't been able to do very much stitching because her hand is very sore
- She has some friends that she also likes to spend time with
- She does not play Mahjong and neither do her friends.
11/24/16 Yang Li Xiong
- He is 7 years old and is an only child. He is always playing with Sofie which he enjoys
- He is in 2nd grade
- This week he had school off because of the festival
- He doesn't have any electronics besides a watch with calling and texting features
- He enjoys spending time with his friends
- He plays games like hide and seek and in the sand
- He enjoys math
- He does not like Chinese class because his teacher is strict
- He does not have an English class, but there is a group of students from a different school that is teaching the kids at his school some English.
11/28/16 Li Fu Kai
- Makes Baba in Si Fang Jie
- She has been making Baba for 18 years
- She did not want to make Baba, but once her brother started she just kept going
- Her mother-in-law taught her how to make Baba
- Her parents also make Baba
- She was born and raised in Xizhuo
- She went to school right across the street from where she works now
- The school building was torn down to make homes
- Her son went to the same school before it was torn down
- She has a 28-year-old son that is already married and a 1-year-old baby girl
- She usually washes the clothes during her free time
- She was eating lunch when I talked to her even though it was late in the day
- She eats breakfast late so she eats lunch and dinner late as well
- It was her free time when I was talking to her.
11/28/16 Yang Wen Duo
- He works at the Old House Cafe
- He only is working there while his wife stays home with their new-born child
- He moved his family here to Xizhuo a couple of years ago
- Before that, he lived elsewhere in Dali
- His grandmother was a very traditional lady
- His grandfather was a teacher at the school he went to when he was young
- Sadly his grandfather went deaf in the Cultural Revolution and he was forced to switch to teaching calligraphy
- His parents were farmers because they did not get a proper education
- Yang Wen Duo went to 13 years of schooling. 6 years in primary, 3 years in middle school, and 4 years at a very fancy high school in Dali
- You had to be very smart in order to get into the school
- After that, he went to a university for 4 years
- Education to him was very important
- He studied to become an international lawyer
- In his free time, he likes to read
- He also runs his own organization called Bike Yunnan.
- His wife just had a baby so he either spends his free time taking care of his family or running his wife's cafe
11/29/16 Ms. Yang
- Ms. Yang runs a clothing shop
- She used to do tailoring but now she sells clothes
- She has two kids, an older daughter, and a younger son.
- Her daughter is running her own business in construction
- Her son is a part of the development company
- She has been running this shop for 15 years
- In her free time, she likes to make tie-dye, do embroidery, or spend time with her family
11/29/16 Ms. Zhao
- Owner of Old Town Snacks
- She has been running this business for 6 years
- She can make fried cheese, barbecue skewers, rice, different soups, and many other things
- She learned how to make all of the foods because she is a local and is familiar with it
- Her husband is a cook
- She has a son that is 9 years old who goes to school locally
- She does not have a lot of free time
- She mostly works
- When she does have free time she likes to watch TV dramas, play badminton, or spend time with her family
- She does not spend a lot of time using the computer and does not participate in social media.
11/29/16 Mr. Shi
- Told me is that he is a villager and farmer
- He lives in a nearby town
- Runs a souvenir shop near Si Fang Jie
- He sells clothes, jewelry, tie-dye, and many other things
- He told me that not many people have a lot of free time
- When he does have free time he likes to watch TV, cook, make tie-dye, or look after his baby.
11/29/16 Ms. Zhang
- Works at a Muslim restaurant right outside of Si Fang Jie
- Works every day.
- Family also works at the restaurant
- She has a daughter and a son
- She also has a son-in-law
- Both of her children are working
- She participates in social media such as WeChat
- Does not really work with technology other than her phone
- She likes to crochet and knit
11/29/16 Ms. Ma
- Works at the Muslim restaurant right outside of Si Fang Jie
- Works with her family at the restaurant
- Works every day of the week
- She participates in social media a little bit
- Does not really work with technology
- Uses her phone for WeChat
- She enjoys knitting and crocheting with her family during her free time
11/29/16 Mr. Duo
- Runs a herb shop
- Sells healthy and pure herbs for health products and other things
- Ran this shop for 2 years already
- Before he lived in Kunming
- he started because of tourism
- Does not have a lot of free time
- Spends time with friends drinking tea at his home
- His whole family is here
- He has 3 kids
- He knows Mahjong and only plays at family reunions
- He does participate in social media
- Mainly on his phone
11/29/16 Li Yun
- Is 15 years old
- in 9th grade
- Goes to a local school
- He is shy
- He enjoys P.E.
- He might go to a university when he graduates
- Does homework during his free time
- Hangs out with friends
- Plays basketball just for fun
- He does not have a job
- Sometimes works at family shop when it is busy
- Parents want him to get a good education
11/29/16 Ms. Li
- Does not have a lot of free time
- She owns a clothes shop
- Has been running it for 5 years
- She enjoys working there
- Her goal is to expand local clothes
- Likes to travel, cook and do handy crafts such as tie-dye
- Does not own a computer and does not know how to work one
- She uses her phone mostly for WeChat
11/30/16 Mr. Zhao
- Works here at Yang Zhuo Ran
- Working here for 4 years
- Is a guard
- While he is here he likes to read
- He enjoys reading history
- He is 65 years old
- He does not play board games
- Does not play Mahjong
- His whole family is here in Xizhuo
- He has 2 sons
- One is 44 and is a teacher
- Another is 32 and works in Kunming
12/1/16 Yang Xiao Yun
- Works at Linden Centre
- Works at Reception desk
- Has been working there for 2 years
- He gets 1 day off per week
- He trained in Kunming
- He has a sister
- His grandparents had 8 kids
- During his free time, he likes to exercise, walk his dog, play basketball, hike, watch TV (House Men), read (Tibetan Code)
- He was born in the 1990's Jiang Ceo
- He moved to Luo Deng when he was 10
- His parents were farmers
- His grandparents worked in the government
- His grandfather told him stories about the Cultural Revolution
12/1/16 Shi Feng Fang
- Works at Linden Centre
- Works at Reception desk
- Has been working there for 3 years
- She gets 2 days off per week
- Loves her job because she gets to communicate and learn from all of the people at the Linden Centre
- Her hometown is on an island near Dali Airport
- Her grandparents and parents were fishermen
- One thing she liked about her parents was that they worked hard to support their family
- One thing she didn't like about her parents was that they never tried anything new
- For her free time, she likes to read the news, go online, watch TV, listen to music, and rest after a long day of work
- She sometimes likes to go sightseeing or get some exercise
- When she went to elementary everyone was from the same town
- When she went to high school and college everyone was from different towns
- When her parents were in school it was all about getting an education good enough to support a family
12/1/16 Mr. Yang
- Works as a guard at the Linden Centre
- Has worked there for 6 years
- He works 3 days on, then 1 day off
- He found out about the job from his neighbor
- He has his parents, his wife, and his daughter living with him
- His daughter is in 11th grade and is at a boarding school
- His daughter is studying literature
- During his free time, he likes to read philosophy, go fishing on Lake Erhai, and take care of his daughter
- His childhood was difficult
- It was all about how to survive
- His family knew that education was important, but it was not their first priority
- He was born in Xizhuo right after New China
- It was a hard time for everyone
- His mom never graduated from school
- His dad finished school and was a teacher
- He did not know his grandparents
- His grandfather was an artist that the made designs on a picture frame
- His grandparents died before he was born
- He told me that the Cultural Revolution influenced and affected his family and many other families
12/5/16 Ms. Li
- She says that there is definitely a difference in generations
- Younger people like to spend time at Internet Cafes
- Kids can play, adults can not, they have to work
- She spends all of her time at her shop or making things for her shop
- She hand makes the papayas
- Spends lots of time at the farm
- Only uses technology to check the news or make a call
- Because she has children she has to work harder to provide for them
12/5/16 Mr. Tang
- Younger people play and eat
- Older people do not eat as much, they like to talk, and watch the news
- When he has free time he likes to rest, watch TV and do chores around his house
- He only uses technology to check the news or weather, or go shopping
- His kids no longer affect his free time because they are grown up
12/5/16 Mr. Zhu
- He says that kids like to dress up, play, and explore
- Says older people do not have very many hobbies
- Many older people in the village just work
- He likes to play games on his phone
- He spends his free time watching his antique shop
12/5/16 Mr. Yang
- He likes to watch TV and go on his phone and computer
- He says older people like to drink tea, socialize, and play mahjong
- Says younger people like to spend time on their computers
- When his kids were younger they took up a lot of his free time
12/6/16 Ms. Wang
- She says that older people do not use technology, besides their phones
- Younger people spend a lot of time playing games on their IPads and computers
- She uses her phone and computer
- She uses her computer for research and checking the news
- She enjoys reading cookbooks and magazines
- She spends some of her free time taking care of her 9-year-old daughter
12/6/16 Mr. Yang
- He uses his smartphone but does not use WeChat
- He rarely uses his computer
- He says that older people mainly just work and do not have very much free time
- Younger people mostly play games on their technology
- During his free time, he only ever works or goes to the Mosque
- He takes religious classes and attends rituals
12/6/16 Ms. Yang
- She has very little free time
- She enjoys watching TV and playing on her phone
- She spends some time taking care of her daughter
- She does not use a computer, only her phone, and WeChat
- She says older people like to socialize while younger people like to play computer games
The information that I have gathered is relevant to my questions because it shows that there is a difference between generations. This information agrees with what I believe because it shows that older generations do not spend very much time using technology, while younger generations do. It also agrees with my hypothesis of how social media is not very popular in the village. This information disagrees with my thoughts on how technology is very hard to find here in the village. I originally thought that not even younger generations used technology, but it turns out that they do.
Answers to Previous Questions
Here I will answer some of my previous questions from Phase 1. I decided to change some of my questions because I was going to originally have my main focus be on the older generations and how they enjoy playing Mahjong. It turns out that Mahjong is not as popular as I thought. Therefore I have changed some of my 10 Big Questions. Here are some of the answers that I have found after talking with some people in the village.
- Do people in the working generation have free time, or do they mostly work?
The working generation is made mostly up of adults in their 20's-40's. After talking with some of these people I found out that their jobs take up most of their free time. Many people in the village run either food or clothing shops. If they sell clothing then they have to make it, if they sell food then they have to grow and tend to it. This is why they do not have very much free time because they are either busy making or selling their product.
- What is the difference between the three generations (elders, working, and children)when it comes to technology?
The people in the village can be grouped into three generations. The elders are around 50-80 or older. The working generation is around 20-40. The children are around 0-20. When it comes to technology the different generations are very different. The elders do not know how to or do not want to use technology. They might use their phones for WeChat but not really for anything else. The working generation includes mostly parents of children around 10. They use computers but only for work purposes, or for checking the news and weather. They will use their phones for playing games, calling, and using WeChat. The children in the village are very different. I talked to many kids about technology and most of them answered with saying that they spend lots of time playing games or watching TV on their computers or IPads.
- What do elders in the village like to do during their free time?
The majority of elders in the village have a lot of free time because they no longer have work and their kids are grown up. For most elders, playing Mahjong or socializing with friends is popular. Mahjong is popular because it does not take up a lot of space and each game takes only about 5-10 minutes to play. I have seen many elders betting while playing Mahjong. Socializing with friends is also popular because here in the village there are many things to do. They could go dancing, walking, just talk, or just sit and play Mahjong. Even though some elders still work, they like to go home and rest after a long day.
- What do people in the working generation like to do in their free time?
The working generation is very busy. That is why they are called the "working" generation. They have families that they need to provide for or businesses that need looking after. When they do have free time, though, they like to read, watch TV, play badminton, take care of their families, or rest and recover from a long day of work. Contrary to that, I was told by many people that their work took up all or most of their free time and that their jobs were their hobbies.
- What do children like to do during their free time?
Children in the village like to do many things during their free time. The kids here get out of school pretty early in the day, so they have lots of free time. I talked to some of the kids ranging in ages from 7-15. Most younger kids enjoy playing with Bey Blades, playing ball games, or just hanging out with friends. Middle schoolers like to talk with friends, go hang out at restaurants or meeting places, or play games such as basketball and badminton. High schoolers enjoy playing basketball, dancing, smoking, or simply hanging out with friends. Technology is popular for all age groups. They enjoy watching TV, playing games on their IPads and computers, or texting and calling friends. Because there is not very much to do for younger kids in the village this is pretty much it.
- Is socializing with friends a common recreation for people in the village?
Socializing with friends is pretty common for people in the village. I see adults playing Mahjong and card games together. I see children hanging out after school talking with each other and eating lunch. I have talked to younger kids and they have told me that they like to play ball games such as soccer with their friends. At night I see teenagers teaching their friends new dance moves and younger kids playing with Bey Blades or just hanging out with friends.
- Do children spend more time on their education or free time?
Education is important to people here in the village but it is really up to the kids themselves whether or not they receive a quality education. It really depends on the grade level and enthusiasm for educations. All of the parents that I have talked to do not have to force their kids to do their homework. They come home get their work done by themselves and then go hang out with friends or relax. For high schoolers it is different. If they are in the 9th or 10th grade they do not really have much homework. If you are in 11th-12th grade then you have exams to study for and lots of homework. But in general, most kids have more free time than they do school work.
- How has social media and technology developed in the village?
Social media and technology have become more and more popular for each generation. Social media and technology are not very common in the older generations. Older people in their 20s-40s use their phones and WeChat but not really anything else. Younger children ages 10-20 spend lots of time playing computer games or watching TV but do not really participate in social media.
- Are younger generations interested in traditional activities?
Based off of what I have seen in the past two weeks it seems that younger generations are not interested in traditional activities. Younger children are more interested in hanging out with friends and teaching them Hip Hop than learning how to do traditional dances. Not very many children enjoy or want to learn how to play Mahjong. It seems that after two or three generations traditional games and dancing will die out.
- Are sports a common recreation for the younger generation?
It would seem that kids enjoy playing games such as soccer or basketball, but I have not seen or heard of any teams. Many children like to play badminton with their friends and family, or basketball and soccer for fun after school. Dancing is also common but it is usually just for fun.
In this phase I gathered information from my contacts and I now have enough information to continue with my work. In Phase 4 I will be getting ready to share all of the insight I have gained regarding my topic.
- http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/content/phase-3-interpreting-information-84(Adeena L.)
- http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/node/3521(Alex L.)
- http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/node/3514(Nike H.)
- http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/content/phase-3-interpreting-information-8(Aneka H.)
- Ms. Chu. personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 21 November 2016
- Mr. Zhao. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 21 November 2016
- Ms. Mai. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 21 November 2016
- Mrs. Linden. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 22 November 2016
- Mr. T. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 22 November 2016
- Ms. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 23 November 2016
- Yang Ru Qong. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 23 November 2016
- Fu Ayi. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 24 November 2016
- Yang Li Xiong. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 24 November 2016
- Li Fu Kai. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi Loew 28 November 2016
- Yang Wen Duo. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 28 November 2016
- Ms. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Ms. Zhao. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Mr. Shi. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Ms. Zhang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Ms. Ma. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Mr. Duo. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Li Yun. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Ms. Li. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 29 November 2016
- Mr. Zhao. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 30 November 2016
- Yang Xiao Yun. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 1 December 2016
- Shi Feng Fang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 1 December 2016
- Mr. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 1 December 2016
- Ms. Li. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 5 December 2016
- Mr. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 5 December 2016
- Mr. Tang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 5 December 2016
- Mr. Zhu. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 5 December 2016
- Ms. Wang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 6 December 2016
- Mr. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 6 December 2016
- Ms. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Lexi L., 6 December 2016