...which represents impressions, opinions and possibly insights gained during a twenty day
tour which selectively dipped into a very large and complex society.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

July 15: Hu Xian community

The night before we stayed at a "farmer's house," a bed & breakfast in the community of Hu Xian. I didn't see many farmers in the village, or many men for that matter. My sense was that the women were the ones who maintained the community and managed the small shops and homes that have been converted to bed & breakfast joints for the tourists. The the men are away at work. If one has some means of support other than farming, such as the folk painter, whose studio we visited, then life is relatively good. Indeed, the people we met in this village seem well off by the standards of rural life in China. But we learn the next morning that the less affluent ones, the elderly, are mostly still residing in the old village.-- certainly more photographically interesting, but not a very desirable place in which to live. The children have escaped but the elderly are spending the remains of their lives in decrepitude. The extended family support network seems to have broken down as China leaps forward. Without safety nets growing old in a one child per couple society can be very unpleasant.

I took only one picture of the "boring" new village and a couple dozen of the old.

Note that the ever present haze is a main element in all these pictures.

A typical new home

One of the old homes, in good condition

This woman lives alone in the old village.
She is nearly blind.

The road outside of the village is very busy.


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