DP27560291
CULTURAL HERITAGE - THE RAILROAD 09: DWELLING IN THE HILLS AND WATERS
Spring is time for rebirth. The hills and waters in Guangxi is particularly picturesque in this season. This famous tourist destination is noted for its natural beauty. People living in the hills have developed unique wisdom to facilitate their daily life. Dong people live in Sanjiang County in Liuzhou north. They are believed to be descended from the ancient Yue people and have a history of more than 2500 years. The Dong often live in the foot of the hills, near rivers. Their settlement is characterised by the Wind and Rain Bridges. Although the bridge may look simple and plain, it is like a guardian at the estuary, providing shelter for the villagers.

The Dong can construct buildings in a delicate way. They are so clever that they can build without using a single nail. "The construction technique of Dong Minority's wooden structure building" is listed as a state-level intangible cultural heritage item. Its successor Mr Yang Siyu can build with a "Carpenter's rod" and several bamboo slips marked with the Dong's architectural symbols representing the measurements of different parts. The Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge was built in 1916. This great structure was built by Mr Yang's grandfather. The grandson regards it as his own bridge. Whenever he finds any damage, he would go up and repair it himself.

Dong people are very united and hospitable. They often serve their guests with 100 Banquet, where each family offers a character dish and everyone eats together at the front of the drum tower. On the fifth day of the second month in the lunar calendar every year, a large scale temple fair is held in the Sanwang Palace in Liangkou Township. Each village should send a representative to invite the three Kings to visit the villages with the procession to expel devils and bring them peace. Dong's festive activities can help unite people of the tribe and pass on history and culture.

Liuzhou is an industrial city. Some of the factories have set up small scale railway system for freight transportation. In Zhayan Station, we can find a humble steam locomotive manufactured in 1975 transporting chemicals for a company every day. However, the environmental policies in Liuzhou are going to get rid of these nostalgic trains soon.

Located in Guangxi south, Dongxing houses China's only marine ethnic group, the Jing. The Jing's single string instrument has a history of 400 years. Its successor Mr Su Chunfa can show his passion with one single string: when he plays in front of the sea, one shall be absorbed by the simplicity and expressiveness of his music. He often plays by the sea so that the fellow seamen can identify the way home.

Guangxi is a good place with great people. Though the men living in the hills and sea do not share the same culture, they have the same good and honest nature.
DVD
30 minutes
2011
 
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