With a very organized local government structure and vibrant culture, the modern Chinese village development is one to admire. As a learning experience the excursion organized by the University first took us to Shuangjiang Village, a village located in Xindeng, a millennium old town of west Hangzhou. The village was also once home to the famous poet Luo Yin, a poet in the Tang dynasty. The village is currently home to 1085 people living in 306 households in a total area of about 3.6 square kilometers. The village also boasts about 348 ethnic villagers.
We were privileged to meet the ‘She’ (畲) people, an ethnic group that lives in the area. The She people form one of the 56 ethnic groups in China. They have cultural traditions that sets them apart from other cultures.For instance the She people enjoy singing along with beautiful dances incorporated into their festivals. During the special performances they wear bright dresses with beautiful patterned leg-warmers. Our group was fortunate to witness and take part in one of the traditional dances.
The local government which consist of 43 CPC members has improved the quality of living in the area. This is due to the establishment of the provincial national revitalization project “畲香美寨、诗画双江”. The project has increased the disposable income of the villagers, by developing industries in the area. For instance the investment in the local food processing industry and the agricultural and tourism economy.The infrastructure construction in the area has also made it conducive for the villagers to live in and thrive. The local government also promotes cultural inheritance in the area through festivals like the “ March 3rd Ethnic customs festival”( 〝三月三”民族风情节) which incorporates literary and artistic performance, cultural exhibitions, food tasting and other activities into one.
We also made a visit to Shangshan village also located in Xindeng town, west of Fuyang District, Hangzhou City.The village has an area of about 3.2 square kilometers, 328 farmers and a total population of 1100, with about 870 mu (equivalent to 58 hectares) of arable land. The village also demonstrates good governance in Zhejiang province, with very nice scenery and a very clean environment courtesy of the garbage classification practice by the villagers. The local government of 50 party members has improved the collective income despite the lack of enough arable land and other natural resources. The process of developing the economy first came after the creation of a beautiful environment by the villagers.In 2019 the Shangshan village Friendship Fields and Garden “上山村友谊昄田“was named one of the most beautiful countryside in Zhejiang province. The clean environment accompanied with good governance has made the standard of living viable.The local government also organized a home for the elderly where they can access amenities. The home also offers daycare for the children in the place. Our trip concluded with the beautiful viewing of some of the farms in the area.
From the visits one can only admire the good governance in the modern Chinese villages. I for one was impressed with how well organized and how clean the environment was in the two villages.