a village of 400 families
we went to a very strange place while we were at xiamen. located three hours by car from xiamen city, we booked a day trip to this hakka village that lies in the fujian province. known as tulou, this hakka village is like a version of a village laid out in the form of the colosseum in rome. the only difference is that people actually live in them. we went to the biggest tulou in the village.
the 700 year old structure is a three storey circular complex that houses more than 400 rooms where families live together. as the hakka people are considered a minority ethnic group, i suppose like all minorities everywhere, they like to huddle together in unity.
as the village is situated on the highlands, i think that the main economy comes from growing tea leaves because at the ground level of the complex, you are invited to sample various types of tea. i initially thought that going to a place like that, the locals will definitely try to hard sell their wares to us because they are pretty chilled. so the atmosphere is quite nice.
seeing families live together in such close proximity makes me think of how alienated we are nowadays. it wasn’t too long ago when we had more of a communal sense, i suppose. if only we have more of that now, maybe people would be happier. it seems to me, people now are often eager to have a family but they don’t think about ways of raising the family. some leave it to domestic helpers, others have nannies – paid help, everything can now be exchanged with money. this has become a value that we instill in our children.
sad isn’t it..
back then, it takes a village to raise a child..