Assignment Asia

Art, Tradition, and Identity

Art serves different purposes, from expressing one's emotions and identity to portraying daily life and recording history. During the Ottoman era in Turkey, artists depicted reality and kept a record of events through a painting style with Islamic and Chinese influences. Although miniature painting has survived to this day, the art form is slowly dying and fewer people are patronizing it. In Istanbul, reporter Natalie Carney meets artists working hard to keep Ottoman miniature art alive and relevant.

Lion dancing has been an important feature of Chinese culture for thousands of years. Believed to attract good luck, it is a staple in festivals like the Lunar New Year. Today, few young people are as interested as their elders in learning the lion dance. But as reporter Mao Dan reports from Hong Kong, one young lion dancer plans to make a career out of it and is determined to carry the tradition forward.

China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has undergone dramatic change in recent years, so much so that many locals fear they are losing their culture and identity. But some young people are at the forefront of preserving it - in modern ways. Reporter Han Bin profiles a 30-year-old of the Uyghur ethnic group who is using rap music to promote Xinjiang's culture and overcome prejudices against the region and its people.

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