[ Jixi ] - [ 2014-07-15 12:30:57 ]
Jiapeng village is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, usually covered by mist in the morning. This mountain area is humid at rainy season, that makes it possible for photographers to run into brilliant scenery, while urges locals to dry their stuff under the sun frequently.
Brook in Jiapeng water street keep floating. Climate in mountainous area changes quickly during the summer rainy season. It rains whenever rain cloud comes. The water street running through Jiapeng is always a paradise for ducks. The water comes from the mountain behind the village, fresh and clear.
Village is quiet after breakfast. Elder people at home are preparing for lunch. Vegetables grown by villagers are safe organic food. With organic fertilizer, free from pesticide, mildew and poison, enjoying the green food produced by themselves and leading a self-sufficient life is something fantastic that city dwellers envy and have no access to.
In the barrel and wooden basin are the home-made tofu by themselves. The green is Chinese chive. The food ingredients of Chinese chive, tofu and a little minced pork indicate the family are going to have dumplings, probably also indicate they are having guests today. Dumplings are one of delicacies to entertain guests of honor or relatives from afar.
The lintel of the door has become mildewed owing to the rainy season, also due to the constant oil fumes from kitchen. The thrifty nature makes villagers rely on fire woods though there is electricity. Kitchen is usually built separately out of the main house for the sake of fire prevention. On the wall of kitchen often hangs a bamboo leaf hat, with which one can carry cooked food to main house when it rains.
There were over a dozen of stone arch bridges, some of them was more than one hundred years. Most of the old bridges were destroyed by severe flood, some of them was rebuilt. Those that could survive are precious.
There is other function of the old bridge over the water street. Villagers on either side would carry out their crop to dry under the sun on the bridge deck. They would tell and help each other. The far or close relatives make villagers link to each other, make their relationship tight and warm, although the patriarchal society has gone. As photography become popular, shutterbugs may know that drying scene like this not only occur in autumn, but also in spring and summer after rainy season.
Where to dry crop depends on local conditions. In the photo is a playground, a family is preparing to dry their crop in a hurry. Besides bridge deck and playground, roof is a good option. For a photographer or a traveller the busy figure and shadow is a touching picture.
Water-powered trip-hammer that was still popular in 80's have died away nowadays due to easy access to electricity. Here is a electric rice mill near Jiapeng water street. In countryside, crop can be preserved well, and be processed into flour or noodle at the rice mill before in use. So the taste is quite different from that of cities. Recent processed flour or noodle tastes good and are rich in nutrition, but that from a city rice station are tasteless. It's good to savour the rice and noodle at Jiapeng.
This is the family of Dexingtang. Traditional Huizhou people dare not neglect the cultural transmission from their ancestors even if they are not well off. We can see such cultural atmosphere in a living room of a family in Jiapeng. Huizhou people should never give up reading no matter he is farmer, fisherman or woodman. It is a traditional way of life reflecting the spirit and value of Confucianism. Jiapeng still has some of this tradition, the family of Dexingtang is outstanding example, which local people should be proud of. Dexingtang family is not rich, but would spend plenty of money in printing the genealogy of Xu clan in Jiapeng. They just want to inherit the village's history and ancestor's virtue and rule. This sentiments and spirits deserve respect and admiration. If you come to Jiapeng town, you may drop by, get to know something about Xu clan.
In the photo is a school in the valley of Jiapeng. The elementary education in the Republic China period is traditional private school and rather new-style school. All those basic education was replaced by Soviet one. From then on the way of education has never been smooth and proper for the countryside which is poor and backward, stricken by political movements, but never give up dreams. Reform and Opening-up policy made economy develop gradually, made it possible to build a new and nice school like this in the valley of Jiapeng, a remote area of Jixi County. The setting sun of summer shines on the campus, indicates a brand new future. Bless you, Jiapeng!
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