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Experts discuss rural revitalization through cultural development

(People's Daily Online)    16:10, October 16, 2020

The National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body, recently held a special consultation meeting on how to achieve rural revitalization through cultural development.

More than 100 CPPCC members, experts and grass-root representatives attended the meeting in the main venue at the CPPCC in Beijing and sub-venues in Anhui, Hunan, and Guizhou, offering their insights on the topic.

Hongcun village in the city of Huangshan, Anhui province. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chen Jiwa, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, suggested promptly preserving oral traditions, such as folk songs and unwritten languages of ethnic minorities, holding activities for the inheritance of traditional craftsmanship, such as recipes and embroidery during festivals, and promoting the building of rural ecological culture museums to display the charm of traditional farming culture.

“We can help raise the cultural literacy of people, encouraging them to improve themselves and cultivate their virtue by effectively using cultural resources in rituals, festive events and the inheriting of intangible cultural heritage (ICH),” Chen said.

In recent years, China’s government departments, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, have established a large number of ICH poverty-relief workshops by supporting ICH items mainly on traditional craftsmanship. These workshops have helped impoverished people find jobs near home, contributing to poverty alleviation and rural revitalization.

Wu Shangzhi, another CPPCC member, emphasizes the importance of protecting and utilizing traditional villages.

“It is necessary to adhere to the principle of prioritizing preservation to prevent overdevelopment, include preservation and development of traditional villages in the country’s strategic plan for rural revitalization and the 14th Five-Year Plan, tap into the value of culture in traditional villages, and bring farmers’ initiatives for the protection and development of traditional villages,” Wu said.

Local governments have promoted the development of rural tourism by relying on traditional villages to boost rural revitalization, as seen in Huangshan city, in east China’s Anhui province.

Wu took Hongcun village in the city of Huangshan, as an example. In Hongcun, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, 20 percent of travel companies’ ticket income is used for the protection fund of cultural relics and 8 percent is used for villagers’ dividends, elderly care, and housing renovation.

The village supports farmers in running agritainment facilities to increase their income and arouse their enthusiasm for protecting the traditional village.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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