Embedded and Awakened Roots in Mobile and Airborne Root Fields: A Study on the Shared Practice of Folk Songs among Migrant Workers in urban villages in Kunming, China

Huiling Yang (Yunnan University)

This paper focuses on the shared practice of folk songs in urban villages among manual laborers who have migrated from rural areas to urban areas of Kunming in southwest China. It discusses how "roots" are reproduced and regenerated among mobile individuals and the interaction of individuals with diverse cultural traditions. The discussion consists of four parts: the sense of rootedness among migrant workers in urban work and daily life; how the folk songs are embedded in the migrant workers as the intersection of their roots and the original living culture system, and move with them; how the folk practice of folk song duet activate and update the rootedness of migrant workers through interaction among the subjects, and create a space of multiple coexistences of roots; and the vulnerability of the field of diverse coexisting roots in the urban environment, exposed to the air rather than rooted in the soil.

Part of V2-05 Belonging, Folklore, and Identity, Wednesday, October 11, 3:30 pm–5:30 pm