China Matters explores Hangzhou’s cultural mix of past and present


Hangzhou was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1132 until the Mongols conquered southern China. Marco polo describes the royal palace in Hangzhou large enough to accommodate 10,000 people.

The flourishing economic development of that time was characterized by Hefang Street, the city’s commercial center, with centuries-old shops and stories behind the street handed down over the centuries.

American video reporter Jack klumpp decides to explore what has been left behind from ancient culture. Wearing ‘hanfu’, the traditional Han Chinese dress, Jack tries to bake and eat Song Dynasty pastries on Hefang Street and learns about the subtle art and technique behind the burning of incense.

The journalist notes that the smallest things in everyday life are closely linked to cultural traditions. He will learn about an essential instrument for Hangzhou culture, guqin. The Southern Song Period marked a milestone for the instrument, forming the first official school of Guqin music.

Architecture is another symbolic issue. Wang shu is a famous architect who received the Pritzker Prize in 2012 for his designs. He decides to initiate a project to protect Hefang Street while giving it new life. He believes that the cultural heritage of the Southern Song Dynasty is valued by the people of Hangzhou as a local cultural identity.

In Hangzhou, the traditional culture and wisdom accumulated over the years have been incorporated into modern society, blending the old with the new and steadily moving forward into the future.

Contact: Li Siwei
Phone : + 8610-68996566
E-mail:[email protected]

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