- All images in this article are taken from Ziqi Li’s YouTube channel
Traditionally made delicaciesZiqi Li brings her viewers a variety of traditionally made delicacies. In most cooking videos, the cook uses ingredients they have already prepared. That’s not how Li does it. If she wants to eat beef noodles, first she makes the dough; if she wants steamed ribs with glutinous rice, first she picks lotus leaves.
Living each season to the fullestHowever, she can do a lot more. Each season is unique, but as city dwellers we forgot long ago how to listen to the sounds of nature. Li is different. She is from the Sichuan mountains, where for years she had to do everything herself, which is why she knows all about craft. In spring, she picked flowers to make rouge; in summer, she chopped bamboo to make a couch; in the fall, she picked persimmons for drying; and in winter, she built an earth oven. Her hands, seen close up, aren’t “ladylike” but strong. With these hands, she easily chops wood and performs whatever other tasks she needs to pursue her dreams.
Living maker life to the fullestLi has tried to reproduce by herself old inventions like movable type printing and paper. She once made the ultimate traditional paper from scratch using mulberry bark, and she has also carved messages into wood, made prints and sent them. Every word made through traditional methods has so much more depth to it.
In the comment sections to her videos, many people say she is living their dream life.Everybody has dreamed about leaving the city and moving to the mountains. A life of self-sufficiency is the best. However, living in a rural area is not easy. Li mentions in interviews and on her weibo that she is nothing like how she seems in her videos. Off camera, she is always doing chores that get her really dirty, and there are many boring aspects of farming life she does not show her viewers: pest control, pruning and sowing, to name a few.