土族對大部分人來說應該是一個非常陌生的民族 跟許多人說起土族人家還會以為我在說“土著”呢。土族只在中國青海找的到 人口僅二十四萬 他們能歌善舞 刺繡出眾 風俗習慣卻在中國的經濟起飛下漸漸末落。 我對土族的好奇 也因此而更加濃厚。
青海土族主要集中在互助土族自治縣 很少人知道其實南方的民和也有土族。我的“導遊”文先生家鄉在民和，這趟便去了西寧以南的民和縣觀亭的土族村落找刺繡。民和距離西寧市大約2個半小時車程，一路開過來都是帶白帽子的回族人，偶爾才夾雜著些漢藏族的，感覺怪奇妙的。 再聽文先生和友人交談，才知道回族人和土，藏，漢族人均有不淺的疙瘩。友人說試過一個人開車回西寧，悶的發慌時想順路載個人好解悶，誰知一路開過去，路上搭便車的都是白帽子的，也就只好打消念頭一個人開悶車了。文先生從西寧回家更是有直通車不搭選擇分段搭兩趟公車 為了也是怕和白帽子的擠車。這些故事在我聽來都挺好笑 文先生他們卻是十分認真的。“不能不防啊 回族人為了賺錢可是什麼事都做的出的！”
回族人縱使有他們的缺點 不可否認的他們的建築卻是美麗得另人陶醉。從西寧的路上一路開過來左右不時可以看到各種形態的圓頂清真寺 （包括受藏漢文化影響的亭臺式寺廟） 散落在一片油菜花海裏, 背後是此起彼伏以各種不同的綠色拼湊成的小山坡。清真寺此時看上去就如同童話世界裏的城堡一般， 令人產生無限的遐想。
For many, the Mangghuers (or the “Tu” minority in Chinese) are a relatively foreign tribe. Most people know about the Tibetans, Mongolians, or for those with a bit more interest in minorities, the Miao, Yi or Naxi. Myself included had no idea what to expect when I was suggested that I should visit the Mangghuers in Qinghai Province for great embroidery work. I was told that their costumes are famous for their seven coloured sleeves (which I in fact did not have the chance to witness), can only be found in Qinghai, have a small population of 240,000 and are rumoured to be descendants of Mongolians who were sent to battle in the area during the Yuan Dynasty.
Most Manghhuer villages are concentrated in the Huzhu Tu Autonomous Region north of Xining, the capital of Qinghai. However, my “tour guide” for the day was a Mr. Wen from Minhe, south of Xining, and so that was where headed. Minhe is about 2.5 hours away from Xining. All along the way we were met with mostly white-capped Huis, Muslim restaurants and beautiful, even intriguing mosques (some, influence by Han and Tibetan culture, have towers that look like tall slim pagodas) dotted around gentle rolling hills of a green and yellow patchwork. Tibetans and Han Chinese make up the minority in this area. Having the Huis dominate a particular area in China seemed unimaginable to me, and it was only upon further conversation with Mr. Wen and our driver Mr. Su that I realized the tension between the Huis and other minorities, or even the Han and foreigners. Mr. Wen told an interesting story about how a friend of his had was driving back to Xining alone once and longed for some company to talk to during the long journey. He had wanted to pick up a hitchhiker but realized that on the way all those who had put their thumbs up were wearing white caps. Ultimately defeated after a couple of miles, he had no choice but to drive back alone. Mr. Wen on the other hand prefers to take a detour involving two bus rides from Xining back home because the majority of passengers on the direct bus are Huis. I find these stories rather funny, but Mr. Wen and Mr. Su looked at me seriously and said, “You can never be too careful around the Huis. They would do anything for money!”