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Factfile
Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
location
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
Administrative divisions
Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
History
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
Ancient House
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 07-01-29
 

  Reported by Jia Zaibai (www.xnnews.com.cn)

  Approaching the south of Hubei and appreciating ancient houses is just like tasting a cup of light wine, intonating a warm poem, or enjoying a roll of refined painting. The people here, not deliberately to pursue and create, just do what they like casually. However, this casual work is deeply marked by Chu cultural imprint. The Song calligraphy and painting spirit-- Shang Yi highlighting personality and emotion-- is deeply embedded in the mountains and waters of southern Hubei Province.

  Villages scattered in the green mountains and clear rivers are both compact like jasper and quiet like pastoral.

  When you are walking towards the village, the first thing that catches your eyes must be a couple of old trees which may be camphor, locust tree, mulberry tree, or elm with its broad crown hugging the village. She is the cultural identity of the ancient house and her age shows that of the village. At this point, a plume of smoke rises, lingering and winding around the old trees, subtle, gradually dissolving in the clouds over the mountains. Under the smoke and the tree must be the quiet ancient house.

  Ancient house is the core of tranquility. Without blocks of ancient houses, the old village will have no quietness. Not understanding the sea-deep quietness of the old houses, you are unlikely to speculate the simple folk of the old house.

  Ancient house is an inn for villagers to have a rest. It condenses efforts of a generation or even generations. Weathered old walls peeled and cracked with holes as little as beans or as big as fists. Later, these holes were filled up, leaving traces of being filled up. A few steps backwards, oh, you can see that the walls take on an arbitrary sway of ink painting. The old house is next to the old well. Water is the source of life and where there is an old house, there is an old well. Old well has no waves but it is connected with spring. Thus the well water is cool in summer and warm in winter. It is very clear, and tastes as the manna. There is a vegetable garden beside the old well and the vegetables look very green .When you pinch a bunch, you can also find it is very tender. There are neither fences nor planted bamboos but a kind of hibiscus plant around the vegetable garden, softly displaying that the hibiscus plant is not used to prevent thieves but a culture decoration most appreciated by the villagers. From the old house to the old well or to the village garden, you will pass a small cottage with a pile of hay or a heap of wood at its side. An old dog sits at the door or on the cottage court to guard this quiet courtyard...

  To guard the ancient house is to guard the lifeblood of the peasants. I once heard such a story-- the old house witnessed six generations; it was personally built by the great-grandfather’s great-grandfather. He blinded one of his eyes when he was repairing a dangerous wall to protect the ancient house. The grandfather died young and his son also died young. As a result, only grandmother and her grandson lived in the old house. Grandmother grew old day by day and she was afraid that she would leave this world soon. That winter was extremely cold. One day grandmother asked her grandson to help her sit on the threshold of the ancient house. She told her grandson about the ancient house with her wizened mouth and repeatedly warned him to guard it. The grandson was sixteen years old which was the prime age of establishing his own business. He looked at the two icicles which fell from the eaves and said to his grandmother, “we two are just like the two icicles that have the same root. If you went, I would also melt-- melt into water and the water would be my tears of miss and promise to you. It would drop into the ditch and melt into the base of the ancient house and prevent it from disappearing in my hand ...”

  It is the ancient house that has conceived the cradle of ancient civilization. Standing in front of the ancient house, I really want to salute. (Jia Zaibai)


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