A Brief Introduction to Yi People’s Diet Customs
单元词汇/短语 (unit words/phrases)： 特色食品specialty food 燕麦 oat
炒面 parched flour 酸菜汤 pickled soup 肚杂 haslet 花椒 zanthoxylum 葱scallion
芫荽 corainder 羊汤锅 mutton soup pot 坨坨肉meat block 荞粑粑buckwheat cake
氨基酸 amino acid 转转酒 circulation of liquor 酒歌 liquor song
Diet is necessary for human survival. Yi people have rich and colorful food culture because of their vast living regions, complex terrain and diverse climate. Yi people mainly live on buckwheat, potatoes and corns. Potatoes are usually boiled or burned as a whole. Corns, buckwheat and barley are usually milled into coarse flour to make cakes, while the oat is mainly used to make parched flour. The meat they eat includes pork, beef, mutton and chicken, but mutton is a rarity. Liquor is indispensable for them to treat a guest, while food is not much minded. Yi people have a particular diet style of “drinking liquor and eating meat in a wild way”.
彝族的特色食品 (Yi People’s Specialty Food)
Meat block is a special dish in the Yi people-inhabited areas. The dish has tender taste and it is fat but not greasy, which is similar to the “Grilled Lamb Chops” in Xinjiang. Yi people butcher the pigs, cattle and goats and cut them into blocks as big as fists. When the meat blocks are 80 percent boiled in a pot, they put them in a winnowing basket, spread salt and shake the blocks so that the salt will penetrate the meat. When it is served on the table, you can only add salt and have it with hand, not the chopsticks. Because of the perfect fire control, this dish has tender taste and special flavor. In addition, when you are en­joying this dish, you can have a kind of pickled soup that is made by the special method of Yi people, which is helpful for get rid of the grease.
Mutton soup pot is a meat dish which is often used by Yi people to entertain guests. To make the mutton soup pot, first Yi people will pick a stout black goat, then slaughter and skin it. Next they take out all its offal and remove the fur from its head and feet. After roasting the goat till it turns yellow and cracking its internal bones, they put the blood, haslet and head into a pot and cook the stuff into the authentic mutton soup pot. Once the delicious smell comes out, they reduce the heating degree but continue to cook the soup until the mutton is done when they start to eat the mutton and have the soup. The only sauce they add to the soup is salt, but while eating they will make some special sauce by mixing zanthoxylum, pepper, scallion, coriander leaves or mint together, which is usually put in a small bowl or tray. Usually the host will spread some pine leaves on the ground, so people can sit on the pine leaves in a circle with the mutton pot in the center. While eating mutton people can drink，sing and dance.
Buckwheat cake is a kind of nutritious food in Yi region. Buckwheat tastes cool, pleasant and delicious with various amino acids that human body needs, which can keep people healthy, and cure diabetes, and its taste is slightly bitter. Yi people believe buckwheat is the king of all kinds of grains. In the past, buckwheat was the staple food of Yi people, whereas now, due to low production, the areas sown with buckwheat are declining. In fact, Yi people only serve buckwheat when they have guests coming to visit during festivals. Yi people make their own buckwheat cakes. Firstly they blend buckwheat flour with water; secondly they put the mixture into a pot with fire under it and the ingredients of mixture form a cake naturally. In the Yi people-inhabited areas, the farmlands are far away from people’s houses, so Yi people usually take some buckwheat cakes with them when they leave home to work in the morning. And they can have convenient and nutritious lunch in the fields.
彝族的酒文化(Yi People’s Liquor Culture)
Yi people are extremely fond of drinking liquor. Wherever they meet, indoors or outdoors, a couple of them will take out their liquor and sit on the ground in a circle, with bowls or bottles of liquor passing from one hand to another in turn, chatting heartily about their daily life. This way of drinking is called“Circulation of Liquor”. Liquor plays an important role in Yi people’s daily life. Yi people are hospitable, so they always serve liquor for their guests. The“Three Cups of Liquor” is the etiquette for treating honorable guests.The first cup of liquor is served in front of the door where the host is greeting guests. Yi people play trombone, suona and yueqin, dance in concert and sing the greeting song. The second cup of liquor is for toast, namely toasting two cups of liquor for honorable guests from remote places while singing a song. The third cup of liquor is for inviting guests to stay. That is, the host asks the guests to drink the last cup of wine when they see guests off. Meanwhile, they play the detention song with trombone and suona, and young people sing and dance. The three cups of liquor are the highest etiquette of Yi people to treat their guests.
Liquor songs are the manifestations of the life, thought and characteristics of Yi people. Liquor songs display Yi people’s sincerity and frankness. In the greeting ceremony of important festivals, young girls and boys of Yi, wearing festival dresses, invite guests to enjoy the full cup of liquor. If the guests do not drink, the host will be angry because Yi people think that refusal of drinking means the guests look down upon them. This reminds us a high-handed song for toast of Yi people. Here are the lyrics,“My brothers, drink your liquor; my sisters, drink your liquor. My brothers, drink your liquor whether you like it or not. My sisters, drink your liquor whether you like it or not. You have to drink your liquor whether you like it or not.”
1. Please use English to summarize the characteristics of Yi people’s diet.
2. Please act as a tourist guide to use English to give a brief introduction to Yi people’s specialty food.
3. Please act as a tourist guide to use English to give a brief introduction to Yi people’s liquor culture.