Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
Previously in Phase 0, I came up with a brief topic I would like to focus on in Xizhou. This is Phase 1 where I will pose real questions to guide me through my project and build background knowledge on my topic which is religions in Xizhou and how they differentiate the locals.
Regarding my topic, I still have little information. I know that religion could take up a major part of life and reflects greatly on culture. The locals of different religion may have unique ways of life that were affected by their religion. Two major religions in Xizhou are Islam, worshipped by Hui minority, and Benzhu, a dominant belief among the Bai minority. I learned about customs and history of Islam such as rituals and the role of mosques, but some practices might not be the same in Xizhou as it is such a common belief in rest of the world and the way of worship tends to change in different areas.
My information comes from Mr. T who, in order to help me choose my topic, gave me basic facts of common beliefs in Xizhou. Most facts about Islam were gained through my seventh-grade social studies class last year. Other more details about the actual worshipers in Xizhou come from writings of previous Microcampus participants that I looked through. For example, Ben S. and Norman H. both chose religious studies; they focused on Benzhu worshippers and Muslims. They mentioned the difference between the two kinds of religion and the influence of historic events such as the cultural revolution.
I hope to learn more about the ways religion influence the lives of people, and different or similar aspects of each religion. To prevent my work from becoming biased and ill-informed, I would like to get to know worshippers of different age group and gender. I think I could also visit mosques and religious leaders for this purpose. I would also like to find out other minor beliefs in Xizhou and consider how they are viewed in the society. Given my Chinese skills, I am uncertain about how much of this I could accomplish, but I am ready to challenge myself.
I did additional background research in order to help with my understanding of how my project might look like and guide me in the future. The product of my research will be found in Phase 3.