About Tu
Folk Literature
Local Industries

Tu nationality has the population of 191,000, distributing in Qinghai and Gansu Province. Tu people do not have their own language but Chinese. Tu people have three meals a day. Breakfast is simple mainly potato, lunch is mainly consisted of pastry and vegetables and dinner is noodles or cake. Mutton is the best entertaining food for visitors and in festivals. Tu people keep their doors open to the visitors. They believe visitors can bring happiness and fortune. The host will propose three toasts to the visitors as they come to their place and before they leave.

The clothes of the Tu people are unique in their colors and styles. Both men and women wear delicately embroidered clothes with high collars.Tu men like to wear dark robes on top of a white short gown, with a green waistband and a felt hat. Felt hats with brocade brims are popular.Women's clothes are more colorful than men's. Their usual costume is a short jacket with buttons down the side, with a black sleeveless garment worn outside. Their jackets have sleeves made up of cloth in the five colors of the rainbow: red, yellow, green, blue and violet. Young women often wear colorful skirts in reds while middle-aged women prefer blue ones.The Tu people used to be very particular about their hair, limited to seven or eight particular styles. However, nowadays any simple hairstyle topped by a brocaded felt hat is accepted among Tu women.

The Tus eat three meals per day. Breakfast is a simple meal, potato and zanba are the staple food. Lunch is rich of rice and vegetables. In the evening the Tus usually have noodles and dough sheet.

The Tus are especially hospitable. All guests, including passersby and anyone that should ask for an accommodation, are welcomed with open arms. Traditionally, guests are treated to a five course meal. The first course consists of buttered tea (made by mixing tea with butter and salt in a churn), deep fried buns, and steamed twisted rolls made of flour. The second course includes fried puffy shredded dough (or deep fried noodles) with stewed beef ribs. The third course includes a variety of stuffed buns, followed by the fourth-course of meat eaten with the fingers. The meal isn't complete without the last course of the Tus' speciality of homemade long noodles.

Laburen and Jimentang, a narrating poem with more than 300 sentences, is the most outstanding literature work in Tu culture. The poem is about a love tragedy, expressing young people’s complaint about the feudalism and their yearning for freedom and love.

In Gansu and Qinghai where Tu people inhabit, young men and women can be seen in bush, along riverside and on the grassland singing, wearing embroidered Tu dress. The beautiful singing makes you stay there listening.

The wedding ceremony is very interesting. The groom sends his envoy to pick up the bride with a few strong horses, a sheep, comb and strips for hair decoration. After arriving at the bride’s home, the envoy is welcomed with singing and dancing outside and as he enters, a basin of cold water is suddenly poured on him from his back. All people laugh happily. The groom is waiting outside his home holding wine and proposing to the guests. The bride walks along red carpet into the bridal chamber. The whole ceremony is in laugh and singing.

Copyright @ Qinglin Township Tu Center School,Datong County, Qinghai,China