The Love-Suicide Mystique of Naxi: Experiential Tourism and Existential Authenticity

The Love-Suicide Mystique of Naxi: Experiential Tourism and Existential Authenticity 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Front. Hist. China Brill

The Love-Suicide Mystique of Naxi: Experiential Tourism and Existential Authenticity

Front. Hist. China, Volume 10 (3): 486 – Nov 2, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1673-3401
eISSN
1673-3525
DOI
10.3868/s020-004-015-0023-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

Front. Hist. ChinaBrill

Published: Nov 2, 2015

Keywords: Naxi; love-suicide; existential authenticity; ethnic tourism

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