Something behind Hongcun Village

wood carving

wood carving

Last weekend we pay a visit to Hongcun old village which is located in Yixian County,1.5 hours from Huangshan city center by bus . Hongcun is also the location for the famous Chinese film “Wo Hu Cang Long (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)”, 2000, directed by Lee Ang and starring Chow Yun Fat. This village are surrounded with green hills and ponds.It is quite typical in design with high walls with no windows,use of terrain to collect water and Hui style architectural.Most of the buildings were built in Ming and Qing dynasties and were still well preserved. Inside the house, you will appreciate the splendid delicate wood carvings,bat,deer,lotus ,crab,figures  etc. These wood carvings are meaningful, bat implies happiness while deer implies fortune.

Elder Women in Hongcun Village

Elder Women in Hongcun Village

The buildings are high wall with no windows and safety features so as to protect the family member,since the men were not at home for long periods of time because of their trading business. While you are praising the great intelligence of  ancient people, you can not imagine how sad the stories behind the high wall. The women have to stayed  at home all years and looked after their children.They could not re-married to other man,though they only met their husbands once or twice per year.It is said that when the night was coming,women started to scatter 36 coins to the air then search them in the dark again and again to pass the long lonely night.In other words, the men achieve business success at the cost of Women’s freedom.

Now hundreds of thousands of tourists flush into  this rural village and spend money there. It seems that it would improve local people’s life. In fact,only 8rmb of every 100rmb is belong to the village ,most of the money was put in the pockets of the government and the tour company.Local people just sell some souvenirs or local special to increse their incoming.

There is also one negative effect on local people’s life after their village becomes a tour destination.The nice Hui style architectures attract many art students to Hongcun village to practice their drawing. some artists clean their tools in the pond directly that the water is contaminated by paint which may contains lead.In recent year, some local people are dead in unknown disease . This is more or less related to the water pollution.

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