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Journeys in Time 2010-10-03 Famous streets of China Part 3- Zhaode Ancient Street, Qingzhou

10-04-2010 03:30 BJT

Today, we’re continuing with our exploration of some of the most famous streets in China, by heading to Qingzhou in the heart of Shandong Province. It was in Qingzhou that Dongyi culture, one of the earliest Neolithic civilizations in China, originated 8300 years ago. Qingzhou’s location makes it a natural transport hub, and two and a half thousand years ago, it had well-established trade relations with the Western Regions. More recently, during the Yuan Dynasty some seven hundred years ago, there was a mass migration of ethnic Hui merchants from the Western Regions, who settled in Qingzhou. They formed their own distinct community, which was centred on an area known as Zhaode Ancient Street. It became quite prosperous during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

At the time of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Zhaode Ancient Street was a hive of activity, when it was lined by numerous famous shops and workshops. Today, some of the old buildings remain just as they were. Also well preserved, thanks to people like Ding Zuming and Xu Zuotan, are some of the ancient skills associated with the ancient culture.
For old people like Ding Zuming, going to the mosque every day to pray, is a daily routine. It’s an aspect of the traditional way of life which they plan to keep alive, as long as their health permits.

Preserving an ancient street is not just about renovating buildings; it’s about keeping history and lifestyles alive. Amid the rising tide of urban development, modern cities are increasingly becoming indistinguishable from one another. Often, it’s only in the old streets, such as Qingzhou’s Zhaode Ancient Street, that a city’s true character is still evident. And it’s here that these cities retain some of their most vivid and richest memories.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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