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Mr. Yang was comparing the “outsiders” that occasionally visit the area to the local people. He believed that outsiders tend to be “smarter” but are always looking for ways to improve their social status and wealth. He claimed that while “we will never be as smart or successful as outsiders,” the local people have a strong sense of community and willingness to help each other.

Tengchong, Yunnan

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After already harvesting the fields for 8 hours, he told me that their family grows rice on their small plot of land to feed four people for a whole year. His wife, who was cutting grain stalks beside him, immediately turned to me and said, “Sometimes it’s not even enough.”

Tengchong, Yunnan