Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    31 / 20 ℃  City Forecast

English>>Life & Culture

Heritage on the verge of extinction

By Xu Junqian (China Daily)

14:33, August 15, 2012

When a place in China is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is normally associated with money making, where tourists and cash are expected to flow in, and jobs created.

But Nanxijiang, a 1,000-year-old town with 27 intangible cultural heritages designated by the country and UNESCO, is an exception.

There is no trace of prosperity - only some weather-beaten houses - and not much tradition is left.

Home to 900,000, many of the town's cultural heritages are on the verge of extinction. They include Yongjia Kunqu Opera and nanquan (Southern Boxing), according to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center of Yongjia county, the administrative body of the area.

"In the past, the area was abuzz with bread-making handicrafts and other local entertainment. But now, nobody cares," says Wang Lingxiao, vice-director of the center.

"Both the practitioners and audiences are few in numbers and old. But they are the most precious and unique cultural wealth of our nation. We need to pass it down to the next generation."

According to the latest national survey about intangible culture heritage, one-third of traditional operas that originated in Zhejiang province have died out over the past 60 years and 30 percent of traditional dances have disappeared.

Wu Shouwu, a 49-year-old practitioner of Southern Boxing, describes the situation as embarrassing.

The descendant of a family with the tradition of practicing and teaching Southern Boxing since the Song Dynasty (960-1279) has been giving free lessons to youngsters for more than two decades. But the number of students has diminished over the years. He has only three to four students now - all from families with martial arts backgrounds.

Recommendations:
News we recommend

Seven foods that enrich your blood

2012 London Olympics

The 24 Solar Terms

Sweet drinks may cause seven diseases

Travel   

Confucius in the United States of America

Three "poisons" that destroy men's health

Five 'super' foods you cannot miss in summer

Top 18 cancer fighting fruits and vegetables



【1】 【2】

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:杜明明、雪萌)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Chinese navy ships visit Israel's Haifa Port

  2. Japan nuclear disaster causes mutant butterfly

  3. A ruling in Europe gives cheer to China

  4. Art festival of "Switch on Beijing 2012"

  5. Movie---Block trades

  6. Dong Jie as rugby coach on Women's Health

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Commentary: Different kind of stimulus
  2. Africa more attuned to partnership with China
  3. Japan's abstaining from shrine visit positive
  4. A ruling in Europe gives cheer to China
  5. Syrian crisis: clash between foreign powers
  6. Commentary: Banks need new culture
  7. Asian slowdown leaves Europe pondering
  8. Be wary of Japan’s radical acts on Diaoyu
  9. Editorial: Stable but slower growth
  10. Firms should watch out for Internet threats

What's happening in China

Officers describe shooting of armed robber suspect

  1. Web giants vow to eradicate online pornography
  2. Changyu wine products involved in pesticide rumor
  3. Historic palace site to be elevated
  4. Fire breaks out in Jiangsu pesticide factory
  5. Tropical storm Kai-Tak approaches south China

China Features

  1. Green is sustainable power for development
  2. How to remove odor on tableware?
  3. Be aware of air conditioning pollution
  4. People's Daily: World trade faces downside risks
  5. The Untold Stories on China's Sports Field

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai