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Ethnic Korean Establishes 'Ancient Village' to Protect Local Culture

Viewed 492 times 2018-12-14 17:56 |System category:News

Huang Mingyu works on the construction of her 'ancient village'. [Jilin Women's Federation]


An enterprising guesthouse owner from Yanji, northeast China's Jilin Province, set up her own replica "ancient village" near her hometown several years ago to promote the local tourism industry and preserve Korean culture.

Huang Mingyu is the founder of Yanbian Chunxing Korean Nationality Ancient Village Folk Culture Co., which started operation in 2012.

With the support of local government and women's federation at all levels, Huang has turned the ancient village into a tourism base.

So now in the village, the gates in all the yards are built in the old style. The surfaces of the straight streets are all flat and tidy. There are lush pine trees between the roads, with white wooden pillars on both sides displaying the unique charm of Korean ethnic group in China.

When talking about what she has done for local people, Huang admitted that she had weathered the storm of life growing up in poverty, and therefore it was her dream to help more people in need with her career.

At 26, Huang entered broadcasting and got a secure job. But her original dream remained in her mind.

"Looking at the high-rise buildings, I found that more and more ethnic Korean people gradually forget their folk customs. I was afraid that decades later children would no longer see the uniqueness of Korean culture," Huang said.

She created her "ancient village" through years of hard work.

At that time many young locals went overseas to South Korea and get a job there. As a result, there were fewer and fewer residents in the village.

Huang's goal was to create a thriving homestay industry.

Huang said, "When the villagers come back and see the mountains and the water, they would feel nostalgic."

Huang has personally contributed to every aspect of the village, from the bricks and tiles, to the wood and pebbles that were collected by her and used in the construction.

On National Day 2016, a 90-year-old Korean veteran went to the village and cried in Huang's arms. He said he was really touched to see the place before his death. That further strengthened Huang's faith.

At present, the village boasts 20 Korean folk-custom inns, 20 greenhouses and several fruit and vegetable picking areas. Visitors can enjoy many different types of food, accommodation, travel tours and experiences.

Yanji has a 58 percent ethnic Korean population and 40 percent of Han people. Other ethnics include Manchu, Hui and Mongolian. These groups rely on ancient villages to pass on their cultures.

Through handicrafts, song and dance, food and architecture, much economic value has been generated and they have become an important force for economic development and poverty alleviation.

"In the future, I shall continue to expand the ancient village. I shall make it a folk museum for the preservation and dissemination of Korean culture," Huang concluded.


Huang Mingyu inspects a piece of wood in the village. [Jilin Women's Federation]

Huang Mingyu picks grapes with a friend in the village. [Jilin Women's Federation]

Huang Mingyu features in a video profile. [Jilin Women's Federation]


(Source: Jilin Women's Federation Network Information Center/Translated and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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