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A disappearing China

Popularity 6Viewed 7196 times 2016-10-21 21:22 |Personal category:Vanishing China|System category:Life| Rural, China

Last month I was delighted to be invited on a tour of North Shanxi by China Daily. It was with enormous pride that we were shown the modern architecture of Taiyuan, the historic walled city of Datong, and the wonders of Buddhist art and sculpture. Perhaps strangely there was great enthusiasm shown in taking us to De Sheng (Victory Fort Village).

I have travelled to many provinces of China and in each I find similar village scenes; deserted and derelict homes, bewildered elderly people and a distinctive old culture disappearing.

As a foreign tourist, I am very interested in old traditional China; its people, homes and daily life, its stories, art and buildings. Modern cities with their lovely buildings and shops are to be seen everywhere in the world, but an old village in China is distinctively Chinese and part of this countries history and culture just as much as its famous scenic areas.

With Chinas industrial revolution came the need for migration to the cities. A one child policy also contributed to the depopulation of the rural villages. Now I understand that the Chinese government are trying to develop policies to encourage a return to the countryside. Furthermore I hear today that such villages are recognised as a part of a vanishing Chinese culture. As China develops tourism, there is a move towards revitalising these as tourist attractions.

I personally find ethnic minority tourist sites very false and commercial and feel sure that attempts to turn rural villages into sites of interest will result in a similar pattern. Yet such investments do restore and preserve the old Chinese way of life to some extent.  I see no other alternative.  I look to western historical village sites that have generated education, prosperity and jobs. I think about rural communities in the UK that have become identified as typical England!  I think about how the world of business is changing as a result of the internet. There is now a possibility for businesses to be run from home, wherever that may be. Could this be of interest to Chinese people who want to live in a rural setting with their family, yet be part of a modern electronic marketplace?

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





Shake hands


Friends who just made a statement (3 Person)

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Comment Comment (8 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2016-10-21 22:33
Glad to see you finally make it.  Thanks for sharing it here.
Reply Report SEARU 2016-10-22 07:08
Flowers growing in the countryside are sweeter than those urban ones!
From farmers we can learn a lot about what life is and how to live happy life!
Reply Report TedM 2016-10-22 12:49
CD:  This blog "A disappearing china" listed on portal page is not linked to this article. To view go to authors main page and select from there.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-10-23 22:01
The online-shopping is going viral in China .. But those who really offer thees goods especially in food, They didn't earn that much .Cause there are a lot of shop just like them in Taobao, Jingdong and other platforms ..And when people all come to this area, the price would fall and still more people come in Then it could make a huge waste ..It's pathetic .
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-10-24 08:53
thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report SEARU 2016-10-24 09:51
Some reader-friends may feel sorry for those poor farmers who live in shabby house. But if you have a closed look at their life, you would see that they have hard bone and strong mind. Some of them enjoy  long life-span with simple diet that phenomenon has puzzled me for a long time! Human should lead fairy-like living with workable desire!  ----------That easy way can let you feel more free and happier!
Reply Report samthy 2016-10-25 23:41
i like you pages, which are so much impressed!
Reply Report 财神 2016-10-27 10:06
Nice to read an inspiring dissertation. However villages have their own originality and purity, the fundamental necessities should be allocated rather than destroying the nature and virginity. pictures made nostalgia for me too.   

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