Grace­ful Tunes, New Voices

Beijing (English) - - EDITOR’S NOTE -

Bei­jing has shown its grow­ing vi­tal­ity dur­ing its 3,000 years of his­tory as a city and more than 860 years of his­tory as a cap­i­tal.

Like any other city, Bei­jing has its unique lo­cal cul­ture, with four di­men­sions—an an­cient cap­i­tal, a revo­lu­tion­ary base, a city en­riched with lo­cal cus­toms and cul­ture and a cra­dle of in­no­va­tion. These di­men­sions form a com­pre­hen­sive cul­ture and dis­play the city’s charm. Bei­jing boasts his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural lega­cies formed over its long pe­riod of de­vel­op­ment. It main­tains its revo­lu­tion­ary tra­di­tions. It has cus­toms and habits fea­tur­ing lo­cal flavour and re­flect­ing the cul­tural tem­per­a­ment of lo­cals. It also func­tions as a na­tional cul­tural cen­tre with var­i­ous in­no­va­tions. Ev­ery Bei­jinger pre­serves, in­her­its and de­vel­ops Bei­jing’s cul­ture.

One may find the city wor­thy of ex­plo­ration from many per­spec­tives.

Cul­ture en­dows the city with grace­ful­ness, en­dur­ing value and vi­tal­ity. These qual­i­ties are in­fused in the city, which also con­tin­ues to pur­sue more de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity.

Ev­ery Bei­jinger has his or her favourite land­mark. In this is­sue, we cast our eyes on the an­cient Li­ulichang Cul­tural Street. The “In­tan­gi­ble Her­itage” column in­tro­duces the Restora­tion Depart­ment of the Cathay Book­shop on the street, es­tab­lished in 1956. It is one of the few in­sti­tutes in China work­ing to re­store an­cient books. This in­sti­tute oc­cu­pies a unique po­si­tion for book col­lec­tors. Re­stor­ers re­pair these rare books us­ing their unique crafts­man­ship.

For­ever Young, a film about the spirit of “es­tab­lish­ing one­self through mer­i­to­ri­ous deeds as well as speech” of Ts­inghua Univer­sity, was re­cently screened. It de­picts how in­tel­lec­tu­als as­sumed the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of their time. The “Ex­hi­bi­tions” column in­tro­duces Alone in the High Tower —Com­mem­o­ra­tive Ex­hi­bi­tion of Wang Guowei’s 140th An­niver­sary of Birth at Ts­inghua Univer­sity Art Mu­seum. Read­ers can learn about the spir­i­tual ethos of Wang Guowei (1877–1927), a pro­fes­sor of Ts­inghua Univer­sity, and other elite schol­ars.

While demon­strat­ing its grace­ful charm, Bei­jing writes new chap­ters with in­no­va­tion. The re­build­ing of the tur­ret of Zuo’an­men Gate is an ex­am­ple. The tur­ret has been re­built into a li­brary with rich lo­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics. As an or­nate-look­ing build­ing, the li­brary re­stores its an­cient charm; it also has many new func­tions to keep abreast with the times and ben­e­fit the pub­lic, and dis­plays momentum in de­vel­op­ing Bei­jing’s cul­tural and creative in­dus­try. The plan­ning and re­build­ing of the tur­ret of Zuo’an­men Gate has drawn at­ten­tion. Our “Around Bei­jing” column de­tails sto­ries be­hind the re­con­struc­tion of the cor­ner tower and ex­plains Bei­jing’s ef­forts to build the cul­tural cen­tre.

Bei­jingers love the city’s cul­tural spirit, which con­tin­ues de­spite the city’s vast changes; they ad­mire the city for its el­e­gance, which hasn’t been lost in its long his­tory; they also love its new look and vi­brancy in a new era. While grace­ful notes are re­tained, new voices of de­vel­op­ment are fre­quently heard, as every­one awaits an even bet­ter Bei­jing.

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