“The Han people deliver knowledge through words and books, while the Dong Tribe delivers through songs, from grandparents to fathers, and from fathers to sons, as they do not have their own words.”
The Dong Tribe ranks 10th among the 55 ethnic minority groups in China (Source: Census Data of National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China). They mainly live in Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi provinces, with a population of approximately 3 million, among which 3,000 are Christians (less than a thousandth of the total population).
The Dong people have their own language but without a writing system. Songs are the only means for them to pass down their cultural traditions, customs and social etiquette to the next generation. There is a saying, “There are three treasures in Dong’s culture: Drum Tower, Folk Songs, and Flower (or Wind and Rain) Bridge” – Dong Folk Songs are the primary means in which their culture is preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next.
|Population Distribution:||Guizhou Province (16.3 millions), Hunan Province (840,000), Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (300,000) and others|
|Language:||Modern Dong language is divided into two dialects, northern and southern Dong dialects (The pronunciation at Guangzhou Rongjiang is considered as the “standard”)|
|History:||The tribe has over 2,500 years of history. Some ethnologists believe that they are the descendants of King Zhurong. Their ancestors belonged to the Chu clans of the Xia and Yu tribes|
|Religion:||They are extremely superstitious and believe that all things have spirits which are immortal and can transfer to a new object from the former host|
- Most of the Dong Tribe believers are elderly people because the younger generation have moved to the cities for education and job opportunities. Since they have moved away, the younger generation may not have opportunities to learn about Christianity. Due to the lack of young people in the Dong Tribe, churches lack momentum and grow slowly.
- The churches in Dong Tribe lack well-trained pastors. Hence, workers always encounter difficulties when leading the church and pastoring brothers and sisters.
- The Dong People generally perceive Christianity as a Western religion and have a lot of misunderstandings about it, which can hinder God’s work.
1 in 1000 people of the Dong Tribe are Christians! They desperately need people to minister and share the Good News with them!
Are you willing to care for the Dong Tribe ministry?