Protecting ancient villages
Updated: 2014-10-30 11:11
By Li Yang(www.chinadaily.com.cn)
Protecting ancient villages does not just mean renovating old houses but also respecting cultural roots and traditions, says an article in guancha.gmw.cn.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said ancient villages continue to disappear fast, despite the launch two years ago of a national project to save them.
There are three reasons old villages are wiped from the map: urbanization, natural disasters and a lack of labor in the countryside.
Urbanization does not necessarily lead to the countryside dying out. There are many examples in European countries of cities and villages co-existing in harmony.
Cities and villages are not two opposing parties. If urbanization, in the name of modernization, brings about disasters in the environment, ecology, public health and culture, modernization is distorted.
Old villages are repositories of heritage, unique memories of families and tribes, religion and lifestyle. The roots of Chinese civilization. The dying out of ancient villages will aggravate the moral decline in modern Chinese society.
It is good for the ministry to spend tens of billions of yuan to protect villages. Packaging them as tourist sites is only one way to protect them. The ministry should classify ancient villages according to their buildings and cultural values and make each penny count in the project.