The Dai also sometimes spelled Tai.Dai people are living in as well as in southern Yunnan. The area is subtropical, with plentiful rainfall and fertile land.
Local products include rice, sugar cane, coffee, pu’er tea,hemp, rubber, camphor and a wide variety of fruits. Xishuangbanna is the home of China’s famous Pu’er tea. The dense forests produce large amounts of teak, sandalwood and medicinal plants, and are home to wild animals including elephants, tigers and peacocks.
The Dai language belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family and has three major dialects. It is written in an alphabetic script.
The religious beliefs of the Dai people were closely related to their economic development. Residents on the borders generally were followers of Hinayana, a sect of Buddhism, while retaining remnants of shamanism. There were many Buddhist temples in the countryside, and it was a common practice, especially in Xishuangbanna, to send young boys to the temples to learn to read and write and chant scriptures, as a form of schooling. Some of them became monks, while most of them returned to secular life. While staying in the temple, the boys had to do all kinds of hard work, and the Dai people had to bear all the financial burden of the temples.
Holidays and Festivals