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Millennial village culture inherited in Zhanjiang

Updated: 2016-12-27

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Zhanjiang in South China's Guangdong province has always endeavored to preserve and spread its cultural heritage arising from its profound historical background.

The Huanglue village located in the northeastern Suixi county of Zhanjiang welcomed its thousandth birthday on Dec 24, celebrating its unique local culture and spirit with a series of activities including a forum and the opening of a Huanglue village culture research base.

The millennium of the founding of the Huanglue village in Suixi county of Zhanjiang takes place on Dec 24. [Photo by Wu Jiang/zjphoto.yinsha.com]

The old village was already populated with 23,000 people when it was founded in 1016 during the Ming Dynasty by Wang Yugong, a prestigious member of the Hanlin Academy, an academic institution established for the emperor. Wang's family motto, emphasizing teaching, loyalty and filial piety was strictly honored by the village's descendants, creating officials and scholars in those ancient times.

The spirit cultivated and expressed in the village was enhanced during the anti-imperialism and anti-Fascist wars, and the War of Liberation (1945-1949). The Huanglue people waged many successive heroic struggles for independence and freedom.

The Huanglue villagers perform a Chinese traditional ceremony to celebrate the anniversary. [Photo /zjphoto.yinsha.com]

The villagers' tradition of hard struggle continued after the reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, and led to advances in education, economy and culture. For example, the Huanglue people played a key role in the construction of important projects in Zhanjiang such as the Hedi Reservoir and the Litang-Zhanjiang Railway. The railway helped Zhanjiang build as a transporting hub in South China.

To capture the successful experiences in running the Huanglue village and apply them in larger areas, a culture base has now been established.

A culture and research base is established to preserve the experiences of the Huanglue village. [Photo /zjphoto.yinsha.com]

"We hope that the culture can manage, revitalize and enrich the village," said Ma Hua, executive director of the China Urban-Rural Development Institute of Shanxi University. He also hoped that Huanglue village will be a pioneer in developing traditional culture in an innovative way. The forum was held to discuss the village's long-term practice in integrating traditional culture into contemporary development. More than 20 experts from Beijing, Wuhan and Shanxi attended and toured the village.

Wang Qinfeng, chief expert at the Lingnan Normal University speaks at the forum on traditional culture and rural governance on Dec 24. [Photo by Li Manqing/zjphoto.yinsha.com]

"Many old villages in Shanxi and Henan in northern China are inevitably seeing a decline of their clan culture," said Ma. "But it is still alive and fresh here, especially the strong ties of family love."

Ma vowed that more in-depth research will take place soon to learn all cultural connotations and apply them to facilitate cultural and ideological progress as well as rural improvements.