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China Daily / 2020-01 / 15 / Page007

Online folk singer gives a voice to migrant workers

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-01-15 00:00

YINCHUAN-It was getting dark and Ma Ruifeng, a 46-year-old farmer, put his cellphone on a stand, steadied the microphone and began to sing. Thumbs-up and flower icons and words of praise popped up on his phone screen. His voice swelled and he sang even more passionately.

He was singing a hua'er or "flower ballad", a high-pitched traditional folk song genre popular in Northwest China. It was included on the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.

Ma was born in Tongxin county, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, where hua'er is widely appreciated among locals. There are more than 500 hua'er singers from all walks of life in Tongxin.

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