As urbanization continues to expand in China, villages that have served as guardians of traditional culture are being razed to make room for golf courses, buildings, and pavement. The razing of the villages is purposeful, being promoted by “local governments…[that see] the sale of rural land rights as a way to compensate for a weak tax base.”
According to The New York Times (NYT), this urbanization is “rapid.” China lost “300 villages a day” during the first decade of the 21st century. China “had 3.7 million villages” in 2000, but by 2010 that figure had dropped to 2.6 million.
This “means [that] village life, the bedrock of Chinese culture, is…disappearing, and with it, traditions and history.”
Groups of scattered villagers continue to try to meet regularly in China, to preserve the traditions they managed to hold on to, but over time the number of former villagers attending such meetings dwindles.
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