Introduction / History The Yongchun applied for status as a separate nationality in the 1950s. When their application was rejected— along with more than 350 other groups in China—the Yongchun leaders met and agreed to be combined into the official Zhuang nationality.
The Chinese government describes the Yongchun language as "a variety of Zhuang spoken in Yunnan Province." The 1992 Ethnologue listed Yongchun as a separate language, but the 1996 edition did not mention them at all. The Central Tai linguistic affiliation includes Yongchun which is related to Southern Zhuang. The Zhuang includes more than 50 dialects in China, many of which are mutually unintelligible. Speakers from different Zhuang groups often greet each other in their respective Zhuang dialects before conducting business in Mandarin or Cantonese.
After centuries of isolation, the various Tai peoples of southern China, including the Yongchun, gradually splintered and became distinct ethnolinguistic people groups.
What are their lives like? During holidays and festival times, the Yongchun like to make multicolored eggs, which they use to find partners. "They boil chicken, duck, or goose eggs and then dyed red, yellow, orange, blue, and purple. When a young man spots a woman he likes, he takes an egg and smashes it on the egg she is carrying in her hand. If the woman is interested, she allows her egg to be smashed and then the two of them wander away from the crowd to talk in private."
What are their beliefs? The Yongchun practice polytheism. The demands of evil spirits enslave and torment the people who offer regular sacrifices to the evil spirits.
There are no known Christians among the Yongchun people. In the 1800s, famous missionary statesman Hudson Taylor motivated thousands to prayer and action for China's lost by his heartfelt challenges. Taylor once asked: "Shall not the low wail of helpless misery arising from one-half of the heathen world pierce our sluggish ear and rouse us, spirit, soul and body, to one mighty, continued, unconquerable effort for China's salvation, that strong in God's strength and in the power of His might, we may snatch the prey from the hand of the mighty; that we may pluck these brands from the everlasting burning, and rescue these captives from the thralldom of sin and Satan; to grace the triumph of our Sovereign King, and to shine forth forever as stars in His diadem."
What are their needs? Like people everywhere, the Yongchun people need to allow the loving Savior to direct their lives. They need his forgiveness for sin.
Prayer Points Pray for the Lord to intervene in Yongchun families, calling many to his side.
Pray for loving, Holy Spirit led workers to go to them.
Pray for the Lord to raise up Yongchun persons of peace to welcome Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.
The Global Evangelization Movement listed a 1995 population of 12,226 members of the Yongchun tribe in southern China. The Yongchun live in the southeastern part of Yunnan Province, but their exact location is uncertain. It is known that they live close to where Yunnan borders the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Han Chinese, Miao, Yi, Buyang, Lati, Giay, Nung, Cao Lan, Tho, and Southern Zhuang are also located in the region. (Source: Operation China, 2000)