Shangri-La Group is honored to serve guests in some of the most culturally significant destinations in the world. Among the many vibrant and fascinating locations, UNESCO recognizes the Silk Road in China as having many points of cultural heritage including traditions or living expressions.
Along the Silk Road, travelers can learn about Hainan Li Jin embroidery, a textile method that appears on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the domain of traditional craftsmanship. Known for its colorful and exquisite handmade patterns featuring natural elements, Hainan Li Jin embroidery reflects the ways of life for the Li community and is an important part of social and cultural occasions. In the absence of a written language, the patterns record the history and legends of the Li culture and are an indispensable part of the cultural heritage of the Li ethnic group.
According to UNESCO, the techniques involved, including warp ikat, double-face embroidery, and single-face jacquard weaving, are passed down from mothers to daughters from early childhood through verbal instruction and personal demonstration. Unfortunately in recent years, the number of women with the weaving skills has declined to the extent that the techniques are at the risk of extinction.
On October 24, Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort & Spa, Hainan celebrated its sixth anniversary by showcasing Hainan Li Jin embroidery made by teachers of the Haitang Jin Cooperative, an organization that supports women in the Li community who create Hainan Li Jin textiles, in the hotel lobby. Teachers from the cooperative showcased their products, while guests and colleagues learned about the history and culture, and participated in sewing demonstrations.
“While making Li Jin, guests developed a deeper understanding of Hainan Li culture,” said Patricia Xu, executive secretary at Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort & Spa, Hainan. “Even young guests participated by making Li Jin sachets with the direction of the teachers.”
“Our guests not only had fun, but also experienced the local culture and enhanced their sense of regional belonging and cultural identity,” continued Xu.
Thank you to the resort and the women from the Haitang Jin Cooperative for showcasing the meaningful cultural practice. Through activities like this, we can help ensure historic practices and traditions are not forgotten.