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Seeing change up close

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-22 08:24
Scenes in the documentary Homestay China feature three American hosts. Chris Bashinelli, a TV host from New York, picks tea leaves with a villager in Niujiaoshan, Hunan province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A documentary, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of New China, follows three US TV hosts as they visit nine far-flung villages, Xu Fan reports.

Chris Bashinelli, a television host from New York, recently caught a glimpse of life in rural China through a Chinese documentary.

During his journey to Niujiaoshan, a village of more than 1,300 people in the mountainous region of Hunan province in Central China, he was "assigned" to pick leaves from tea plants. Joining him there were the mostly female villagers, where the best pickers among them often earn up to 500 yuan ($70.9) a day. Bashinelli received 10 yuan after an exhausting day of work. But despite the somewhat frustratingly low payment, he had a wonderful stay in the village, which is a tourist attraction and home to more than 300 ethnic Miao families.

Taking part in a series of activities from attending a local wedding to learning about Miao jewelry, Bashinelli, 32, had the chance to see how people in rural China are striving for a better life.

His tour featured in one episode of Homestay China, a three-part documentary that has been running on Chinese streaming platform Youku since July 1. Translated into 43 languages, the program has also been broadcast on the National Geographic Channel since July 13. The documentary's trailers have been released on several overseas streaming platforms such as You-Tube, and were watched more than 500,000 times across Asia, North America, Europe and Africa, according to the producers.

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