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Fanchang in the countryside

09-26-2010 13:51 BJT

As a tourist in the rural areas of central China, you will find a special custom in the countryside. A few people there sat around a table to have meals, while most people have meals at the Fanchang. Fanchang means a fixed site for people to have meals. In the summer, people usually have meals under the shade of trees while in the spring, autumn, and winter people usually choose sunny places to have meals. Each village has several fixed Fanchang sites, and they are not easily changed because they were formed following traditions.

Fanchang in the countryside

As the folk saying goes, “If you want to gossip, you should go to the Fanchang.” This refers to the custom of having meals at a Fanchang. People of all ages would take their meals to the Fanchang at meal time and they would have meals alone or together with friends. Most of the bowls they used are rough china bowls, also known as “big bowls,” because people do not want to go backwards and forwards between their homes and the Fanchang to fill their bowls and it may also disappointed them if they had no food when people are talking in high spirits. Therefore, people eating at the Fanchangs would use big bowls. They would hold their bowls in one hand and hold chopsticks in the other hand, and there would still be enough room for a steamed bun in the bowl holding hand. If their menu contained steamed corn bread, people usually pour garlic sauce and chili sauce in the holes of the steamed corn bread. The menu of rural people is very simple therefore it is easy for them to have meals together at a Fanchang.

At the Fanchang, people eat, talk and laugh. They talk about various topics from national affairs to local news in their villages. Therefore, Fanchangs actually play an important role of farming arrangements and information exchange.

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CNTV.CN

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