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China Quake Spotlights an Ethnic Minority

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Western Sichuan province sits at the intersection of diverse ethnic cultures. One people particularly hard hit by the earthquake is the ancient Qiang minority.

The Qiang number around 200-300,000; living mostly in the mountains of Beichuan county. Many fled their homes after the quake.

The Qiangs practice an animist religion and speak a Tibetan-Burmese language, although young Qiang increasingly speak Chinese. The Qiang are trying to develop their economy while preserving their culture, and they are concerned what impact the quake will have on these efforts.

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