Monday, May 05, 2008

Finally, Culture in Shenzhen

Saturday, we took a long bus ride out to Longgang district to visit the Hakkas Custom Museum. It took more than two hours to get there from Nanshan.

Hakka people are Han Chinese, but have different customs than the rest of China. The migrated from the north and settled south--there are many photos of Hakka villages from Fujian province.

The Crane Lake Villa was turned into a museum by the city in 1996. Prior that, it belonged to a single family--the Luo family, which began building the home during the Qing Dynasty. It is not the circular structure-style Hakka village that is shown in most pictures, but rather a trapezoid-shaped structure.

There isn't much in the way of exhibits at the museum. It appears that most of it is being renovated. Many of the 300 original rooms are inaccessible at this time. Most of the exhibits pertain to this specific Hakka village, with original tools and stories of the family. Other exhibits include stories of famous Hakka people, including Sun Yat-Sen. Unfortunately, they do not explain much about the customs and traditions of the Hakka people.

There is also some rather confusing propaganda set as an exhibit. It seems some Hakka villages were mistaken as secret nuclear sites. Apparently, this is a true story. However, the way it's written makes it much more difficult to comprehend or believe. I particularly like the last line about Reagan.

The neighborhood surrounding the museum isn't the most pleasant in Shenzhen. It's filled with numerous small shops selling cheap products and knock-offs. We came across a two yuan store that sold fake Crest toothpaste (the Chinese was the same, but the product was called Cvozt.

If you plan to go, I suggest stopping in at the nearby Jusco down the street for some food--there isn't much near the Hakka museum.


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