I happened to watch one of Li Ziqi’s videos several years ago and I was blown away. Her cuisine, craftwork, the process of building things from scratch, and nature at her home location in Sichuan, Western China are so fascinating to witness. After several hours of intense work, I find watching her doing her things so relaxing.
Who is she?
Li Ziqi is a 29-year-old Chinese woman who films her rural lifestyle and shares it online. She has over 14 million subscribers on YouTube and a ton more on Chinese social media accounts.
Based on her interview with Goldthread, she lived with her grandparents when growing up. At the age of 14, she started working in the city for a while before deciding to come back to live with them in the countryside. She began video recording her life in 2016.
“I simply want people in the city to know where their food comes from”, she expressed as her motivation during the interview. She stated that people have so much stress these days living in the city. It’s all about competition and survival, while living in the countryside makes her feel like she truly gets to live. Therefore, she thinks sharing her life through videos will help people feel better.
Why will you love watching her videos?
- Her identity is very authentic – It reflects in her activities and the effort she puts into creating something; whether planting crops, sourcing ingredients and preparing them, or starting a fire for cooking. It’s labour-intensive and sophisticated. Some tasks seem too difficult to do on her own, but she always makes it work. She can warm your heart and leave you in awe at the same time.
- You will mostly hear the sound of nature and the work she’s doing – Li Ziqi doesn’t talk to us, the audience; she lets the camera capture the sound and intimate moments of her doing her craft in the atmosphere of her environment. She lets nature speak for itself. Watching the beautiful wilderness in different seasons in her hometown is soothing and comforting. No words are necessary.
- She emphasizes the value of nature – It may seem like she takes us to a different world where technology and innovation don’t exist, but in fact, she reminds us how we fundamentally depend on nature. She teaches us to maximize all parts of resources, live with nature respectfully, and give back whenever given a chance.
- She integrates wisdom through her work – You will get to see traditional Chinese wisdom through her work; whether it be building furniture with bamboo, embroidery, or creating complicated cuisine. She lives her life without automation. She shows us that all tasks, big or small, can be completed with our own two hands, simple tools, and wisdom, taught through generations.
- It’s inspiring – She will inspire you to get up, move, cook your own food, bake your own bread, make things from scratch, and share with those you care for.
What videos do I recommend?
There are many great videos in various categories on her channel. I recommend that you start with the following ones.
- Food – This video is about the life of chilies. She will show you different ways to preserve and use chilies in her dishes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKJIYsnNQy4
- Culture – She will walk you through how to make snacks for a Spring festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWMIPukvdsQ
- Cosmetics : This video is about making lipstick with flowers and beeswax. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd9GxmQbJ9U
- Craftwork (oven) – This kitty oven appears many times in her videos and sure enough, she made it herself with what looks like clay in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cahnb7vr-AM
- Craftwork (furniture) – Look at how she sources bamboo in the woods, carries it back home, and architects her own furniture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTejJnrzGPM
A comment on her channel says that “watching your videos is like therapy to my soul!” and I totally agree. If you choose to spend your break time on YouTube, check out Li Ziqi. I can guarantee that you will feel the same way. Among the noisy world we’re living in, her channel is worth your attention. Enjoy watching and sharing this article with your friends if you think they deserve the same therapy.