From hunting to modernity, Oroqen people living better, NPC deputy says

By ZHAO XINYING in Beijing and YUAN HUI in Hohhot China Daily Updated: 2021-03-15


Dai Xiyuan, a member of the ethnic group from the Oroqen Autonomous Banner in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and a national legislator, became an online sensation for a hat featuring roe dear he wore at a group discussion among delegates from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region during the annual two sessions. [Photo/CCTV]

The lives of members of the Oroqen ethnic group have improved greatly under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the Oroqen people welcome people of other ethnic groups to visit them and experience the changes, an NPC deputy said during the annual two sessions.

"Since the beginning of the battle against poverty, we Oroqen people have led a well-off life, and the sense of happiness among our group members is very strong," said Dai Xiyuan, a member of the ethnic group from the Oroqen Autonomous Banner in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The sixth national census, which was conducted in 2010, showed that the Oroqen ethnic group had 8,659 members, making it one of the smallest ethnic groups in China.

Most Oroqen inhabit Heilongjiang province and Inner Mongolia.

Dai said that under the leadership of the CPC, the Oroqen abandoned their traditional hunting lifestyle and relocated to the foot of the Hinggan mountains in Inner Mongolia in 1953.

In 1966, the group members started to engage in modern agricultural production and livestock breeding.

During the just-concluded two sessions, the annual meetings of China's top legislature and top political advisory body, Dai wore a deer head hat, which attracted the attention of many netizens.

Dai said the hat depicts the Siberian roe deer, which can be found in the forests of Inner Mongolia and Northeast China.

"We Oroqen people wear this hat whenever there is a big occasion or important festival," he said. "It's a historic symbol of our group. When people see someone wearing such a hat, they will recognize that the person is an Oroqen."

Dai said they wear such hats because roe deer was a major food source for their ancestors, who hunted for a living. Wearing such a hat in those days could help attract animals and improve hunting efficiency.

Dai said the scenery of his hometown varies during different seasons, and there are a variety of activities.

"We have the ice and snow festival in winter and the azalea festival in spring; in summer, the negative oxygen ions in our forests stay at a high level, making our air fresher; and in autumn, you can see the amazing scenery of the colorful Hinggan mountains," he said.

Dai said he sincerely invites people of different ethnic groups to visit the Oroqen Autonomous Banner to see how the changes have affected the lives of the people.

"We will welcome you with our unique beer and delicious food," he said.

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