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2009年5月30日  

2009-05-30 14:19:35|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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It used to be that tens of thousands of folk artists would descend on Beijing's Tian Qiao to give performances or sell handicrafts. Sadly, the bustling has died down as these artists pass away and their art forms seem to be nearly vanishing.

But today, Huasheng Tianqiao in Beijing's Gao Bei Dian village is breathing new life into China's traditional vaudeville, and performers are stepping up their acts as the Dragon Boat Festival approaches.

Sixty-year-old contortionist Zhou Yulin has been performing as Ji Gong, a legendary monk who defends the poor with a magical fan, since the 1950s. Like many other folk artists who used to gather in old Tian Qiao, he has followed the “new Tian Qiao” as it changed venues over the years before finally settling in Gao Bei Dian.

Zhou performed in the old Tian Qiao around the same time as Fu Sichao's grandfather, a zhongfan artist who taught the folk art to his grandson.

Today, the 28-year-old is determined to make sure this heritage is not lost forever.

Local villagers also got into the spirit of the Dragon Boat Festival by joining a zongzi-making competition.

Zongzi is a special snack associated with the Dragon Boat Festival that is made of glutinous rice folded into bamboo leaves.

It takes the nimble-fingered mere seconds to wrap a zongzi, although this tradition is observed only once a year.

Visitors can also see Chinese wrestling, drumming, and folk dancing. Peddlers run several stands proffering kites and knickknacks.

Despite the “new Tianqiao” being different from the old area, where people performed to make a living, it is still a great way to pass down folk traditions, even if today’s performers work for the sake of art.

Because as Tianqiao’s dying spirit is reborn, tradition remains the lifeblood of its new incarnation.

 

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