Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Posts Tagged ‘xiamen

a village of 400 families

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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..

Written by smalltroubleinhk

September 13, 2011 at 8:10 am

xiamen, gulangyu

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i love going to new places and seeing the world. there is nothing quite like seeing the concept of the everyday from another person’s perspective of how everyday is like

whenever there is a holiday in hong kong, people just love to travel. maybe because hong kong is quite centralized most other asian cities just a couple of hours away, that kinda leads to the convenient of traveling.

after working hardcore hours – 12 hours a day for the last 6 months, i threw in the towel for a few days of relaxation. if there was one thing that i would like to do this year – it’s really to see more of china. there is so much to see in china. so much history so many different places and faces.

we headed out to xiamen for a few days of ” doing nothing…

upon arrival, we stayed a day on a little island next to xiamen city. gulangyu reminds me a lot of lamma island. i was really surprised with the large number of colonial -style mansions scattered all over the island. probing the local residents had later revealed that the mansions were built by rich overseas chinese from nanyang ( singapore and malaysia) after they made their fortunes abroad. apparently as well, the xiamen university was funded by a rich overseas chinese who went to singapore. interesting.

anyways, gulangyu must have been one of the most artistic little island enclave i have seen. called the paradise garden of china, one is able to see how art is part of everyday living. the gardens are beautifully landscaped and every bit of space they have, they use it to plant things. at the b&b where we stayed, there was a garden at the back where it is used as an open air art studio and students go there with easels and paint brushes, drawing whatever inspires them.

i really like the old colonial mansions and the coffee places. don’t bother trying the cakes because they are still not up to par but every single coffee place try their hardest to carve out a unique identity of their own.

sending postcards and writing to one another seems also be a unique fabric in the culture of gulangyu. we saw many people regardless of age buying loads of postcards and sending them out. i didn’t hesitate sending my family one too.

i think you will like xulangyu. compared to a lot of places in china, xiamen is spotlessly clean. i hardly see blue skies in china but for four days, i saw nothing but blue skies with an occasional passing of the summer’s shower.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

September 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

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