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Hometown banks on Nobel laureate to boost tourism

(Xinhua)

09:02, October 19, 2012

JINAN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Tour guides are busy memorizing their new scripts about places where Mo Yan, the newest Nobel literature laureate used to live, write and derive inspiration from.

This is part of local tourism officials' rush to capitalize on the "Mo-mania" that has been gripping the country since the writer became China's first Nobel literature laureate last week.

Red lanterns are being raised and red sorghum will be grown to give pilgrims an original taste of Gaomi, Mo's hometown and the setting for most of his works, according to local tourism officials.

The old house, where Mo spent his childhood and where his father and brother still live is being renovated.

"Gaomi is no longer what it was," said poet Li Danping from the east China city with a population of 900,000. "It is now the holy land of the country, Mecca of Chinese literature."

Tourists are now swarming to Ping'an village, which they would never have stopped in had it not been Mo's hometown.

Some visitors are reportedly even taking radishes and yams from fields near Mo's old house as a "special souvenir."

Mo's hometown is closely related to his literature.

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