An­cient cul­ture flour­ishes

City with his­tory dat­ing back 7,000 years takes steps to ac­tively pro­tect i

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By SONG MENGXING song­mengx­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The peo­ple of Tongx­i­ang in East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince, which boasts a his­tory dat­ing back more than 7,000 years, are jus­ti­fi­ably

proud of their city’s cul­ture and are tak­ing steps to ac­tively pro­tect its cul­tural her­itage.

The Grand Canal, part of which runs through the city, was listed as a UNESCO World Her­itage site in 2014. Wuzhen, an an­cient part of the city, and an­other 13 an­cient towns within the city’s bound­aries are also prepar­ing to ap­ply for in­scrip­tion on the World Her­itage List.

In­tan­gi­ble her­itages

Tongx­i­ang abounds in in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage, in­clud­ing three that have been listed at the na­tional level and 20 pro­vin­cial-level items. A series of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage halls have been built in Tongx­i­ang to dis­play hand­i­crafts, train ap­pren­tices, hold ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties and al­low tourists to ex­pe­ri­ence the skills.

City lead­ers are at­tempt­ing to build a train­ing sys­tem for in­her­i­tors of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage, and have or­ga­nized the “na­tional in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage in­her­i­tors di­a­logue” for two con­sec­u­tive years.

“Our Fes­ti­val”, a series of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage ex­hi­bi­tions and per­for­mances, has been held in Tonx­i­ang, along with a num­ber of other ac­tiv­i­ties, to teach tra­di­tional skills. The series was com­mended by the Zhe­jiang pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment in 2012 for its ef­fort in pro­tect­ing in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage items by ap­ply­ing for in­clu­sions on im­por­tant in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage lists.

The city is home to many noted peo­ple such as writer and cul­tural critic Mao Dun, comic artist Feng Zikai, pho­tog­ra­pher Xu Xiaob­ing, in­ter­na­tional stud­ies ex­pert Jin Zhonghua, writer and painter Mu Xin, founder of the in­flu­en­tial pub­lisher Zhonghua Book Com­pany Lu Feikui and Mao Weitao, per­form­ing artist of Yueju Opera.

Based on the city’s pro­found cul­ture around fa­mous peo­ple, re­lated memo­rial halls and name­sake schools have been built, in­clud­ing the memo­rial halls of Mao Dun and Feng Zikai. Tongx­i­ang also or­ga­nized theme stud­ies of cul­ture around fa­mous peo­ple and es­tab­lished 14 such teams. In re­cent years, Tongx­i­ang has seen re­mark­able achieve­ments in Chi­nese comics — also known as man­hua, cal­lig­ra­phy, photography, lit­er­a­ture, mar­tial arts, the­ater and seal carv­ing.

Cul­tural works

Tongx­i­ang has hosted in­ter­na­tional and na­tional cul­tural events, such as the Wuzhen The­atre Fes­ti­val and the Fu­ture of Go Sum­mit in Wuzhen, to pro­mote cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion and make Tongx­i­ang more fa­mous and in­flu­en­tial. The lo­cal gov­ern­ment also sup­ports raising

Com­pa­nies re­lated to these sec­tors have achieved ris­ing prof­its this year, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial statis­tics. From Jan­uary to Au­gust, the to­tal out­put value of the city’s elec­tronic in­for­ma­tion man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try ex­ceeded 4 bil­lion yuan, an in­crease of 8.6 per­cent year-on-year; and the rev­enue of the soft­ware and in­for­ma­tion ser­vice in­dus­tries reached 250 mil­lion yuan, in­creas­ing 81.8 per­cent. The clus­ter, cov­er­ing an area of 125 square kilo­me­ters, will at­tract high-end busi­nesses in the fields of in­ter­net, fash­ion, ad­vanced equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, new ma­te­ri­als and key auto parts man­u­fac­tur­ing, ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment.

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