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Yunnan wondrous terrace- How locals profit from it

11-30-2011 09:38 BJT

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To Yunnan province in southwest China now, where agricultural and ecological wonders abound. Along the banks of Honghe River, the awe-inspiring Hani Terraces cling to the Ailao Mountain. Dating back more than 13-hundred years, our reporter, Bai Jie, finds out how locals there profit from this unique environment.

Yuanyang county has the largest proportion of Hani terraces in Yunnan, with a terrace on almost each mountain and for each family. Lu Meiying lives in Jingkou villiage in the county. Every morning, she gets up early to sort out and select wood in order to light a fire and make a meal for the family. Afterwards she begins work on the weaving machine which has been many Hani women’s daily work for hundreds of years.

Lu Meiying, Ethnic Hani Local, said, "I always weave those clothes for elders of the family to wear during the new year festival. I also do this for my daughter or daughter in law when they get married."

Farm work on the terraces occupies an important part of Lu’s daily life as well as other Hani people’s. For more than a thousand years, the Hani did not build cities of their own. They have always lived in village units due to geological conditions and focused their energies and wisdom on terrace farming culture. As a human creation, the Hani terrace has not only become a place of cultural interest, but also a part of the local natural landscape.

Special Coverage: Travelogue Six-Part Series- Honghe

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Yuanyang county has the largest proportion of Hani terraces in Yunnan, with a terrace on almost each mountain and for each family.

"The Hani Terrace is one of the most representative Chinese terraces and a wonder in the world of agricultural civilization. With its unique and profound value in science and culture, Hani people have maintained their way of living throughout centuries." Bai Jie, CCTV Reporter said.

The four-element forest-village-terrace-river structure of the agriculture ecosystem is unparalleled around the country and attracts tourists from across the world. During the first 8 months of this year, Yuanyang county has received more than 570 thousand tourists bringing an income of about 500 million yuan. Tourism is becoming a pillar industry of the local government.

"Besides the agricultural income, we also get allowances from the government. For example, if we keep the features of traditional Hani houses, every family could get 4 thousand yuan. Our life is richer than before." Lu Meiying told us.

Yuanyang county has the largest proportion of Hani terraces in Yunnan, with a terrace on almost each mountain and for each family.

In 2007, Hani Terraces became the first national wetland park in Yunnan Province, and are applying to be listed as a "World Natural and Cultural Heritage" .

The Hani Terraces still provide basic needs to local people today, demonstrating the extraordinary continuity of the area’s cultural heritage.

Yuanyang county has the largest proportion of Hani terraces in Yunnan, with a terrace on almost each mountain and for each family.

Yuanyang county has the largest proportion of Hani terraces in Yunnan, with a terrace on almost each mountain and for each family.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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