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Cultural industry, program benefits Chinese villagers - Xinhua News Agency

* In recent years, China has made handicrafts part of its strategy, and has been trying to revitalize local areas by developing specialized cultural industries.

* In the process of rural revitalization, traditional Chinese culture plays a special role in supporting elderly care.

・With the significant improvement in the living environment, the demand for cultural life among rural residents is increasing. From local libraries to public performances, public cultural services have improved significantly in rural areas across the country.

JINAN, Aug. 13 (Xinhua News Agency) — Over the past decade, eastern China’s Shandong province has actively sought to integrate traditional Chinese culture into rural revitalization. These efforts help improve the wealth of rural residents through unique cultural industries.

Home to the ancient Chinese philosophers Confucius and Mencius, Shandong has extensive and profound traditional cultural resources to draw wisdom from.

handicraft industry

In recent years, China has made handicrafts part of its strategy to strengthen rural revitalization through the development of specialized cultural industries.

Villagers display their straw weaving handicrafts in Damatou township, Dongying city, eastern China’s Shandong province, on August 2, 2022. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)

Today, traditional handicraft industries such as embroidery, straw weaving, and clay sculpture embody elements of both traditional Chinese culture and modern day-to-day life. skills can bring great financial benefits.

Niejiazhuang Village in Jiangzhuang Township, Gaomi City, is the cradle of clay sculpture, a kind of national intangible cultural heritage.

Mr. Chen Nie Lai is the 23rd generation of Niejiazhuang Clay Sculpture and his clay tiger, also known as Mud Tiger, sells well in the market. With his father’s help, he sold over 50,000 clay sculptures in the first half of 2022.

But until a few years ago, we were only selling 12,000 units a year, so things were different. At the time, clay carving was a lot of work, but it was less profitable and many people in the industry chose to quit.

To revive the industry and help local people acquire handicrafts, local governments worked together to improve logistics, technology, management, publicity and sales.

At present, more than 5,000 people in Jiangzhuang Township are engaged in the research, design and production of intangible cultural heritage-related products, producing more than 400,000 mad tigers annually, with an annual total sales of 10 million. more than RMB (US$1.48 million).

A tiger-shaped clay sculpture from Gaomi is on display at a creative cultural tourism product fair in Qufu, eastern China’s Shandong province, June 27, 2022. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)

“The mud tiger spring has come,” said Nie.

Confucianism class

Most of China’s elderly population lives in vast rural areas, and caring for groups has become a major social concern.In the process of rural revitalization, traditional Chinese culture It plays a special role in supporting elderly care.

In Ojozi, a mountain village of 1,328 people in Jining, the elderly locals look forward to Saturdays when Confucianism classes are held.

Most of the people living in Ojiko are elderly, as many young and middle-aged locals spend most of their years working far from home in the city.

Wang Chun, a retired civil servant who volunteers to teach Confucianism classes, drives from the county seat to a small village every Saturday. Wang has been teaching classes there for nine years.

But these Saturdays are more than just lectures. Wang adapts his class to his students. He usually tells stories from the Analects of Confucius. He also organizes parties for the elderly where people sing and have fun.

The class is now practicing the virtues of filial piety and trying to find new ways to care for the elderly in the countryside. You can have lunch together for free.

Since the rural Confucian classroom program was launched in 2013, more than 3,700 rural Confucian lecture halls have been built in Jining. Volunteers from all walks of life are elected as teachers.

Wang Zhongwu, a professor of sociology at Shandong University, said, “Promoting aspects of traditional Chinese culture such as harmony and filial piety can foster social politeness in rural areas and make rural revitalization more active.” It helps to

cultural program

The vastly improved living conditions have increased the demand for a cultural life among the rural population.

A photo taken on July 28, 2022 shows tourists visiting a traditional village in Zhangqiu District, Jinan City, East China’s Shandong Province. (Xinhua News Agency/Xu Suhui)

From local libraries to public performances, public cultural services have improved significantly in rural areas across the country.

In recent years, the country has stepped up the construction of cultural infrastructure in rural areas. It also appreciates the important role of folk culture and arts in promoting local revitalization and therefore organizes more public-beneficial cultural programs.

To enable rural residents to experience good cultural productions, local authorities in Shandong have staged dramas and dramas in rural areas as part of various pilot programs.

Zhang Ming, a local resident of Jinxiang County, Shandong’s main garlic-producing region, said while watching a live show on his phone after working on the farm, “It’s great that we enjoy such a brilliant play.” It’s amazing what you can do.

The two-and-a-half-hour performance was broadcast live on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and attracted a large number of viewers who sent comments and interacted online.

For those unable to watch live shows, especially the elderly, local authorities record performances so that people can watch them on local cable TV channels whenever possible.

“New county policies allow locals over the age of 65 to install cable TV for free,” said an elderly resident named Sun. “You can now watch opera on TV anytime.”

(Reporting by Zhang Xinyi, Wu Shuguang, Sun Xiaohui, Yuanmin, and Li Baojie; video reporters: Feng Yuanyuan, Zhu Xiaoguang, Zhang Xinyi; video editors: Yang Zhixiang, Cao Ying)