CITY GUIDE >Culture and Events
Walking tall
By Mark Hughes (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-01 09:01

Walking tall

A migrant worker at a canteen for migrants in Yan'an, Shaanxi province in 1985.


A young boy stares in rapt concentration as an electrician installs his rural family's first electric light bulb just 100 km from the heart of Beijing. The poignant photograph was taken by Han Xuezhang in 1956 in what is now the Fangshan district of the capital.

The scene marked the first visible benefits of the construction of a small hydro-electric station nearby that heralded the end of a long era during which the hours of darkness were lit up with oil lamps.

Now the area is ablaze with neon lights and the countryside has been largely concreted over.

The picture is one of hundreds assembled by China Daily in a book commemorating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Since the memorable date of Oct 1, 1949, extraordinary changes have been wrought in this, the most populous and diverse nation on planet Earth.

Many historic events recorded on celluloid throughout the country present a visual and vivid history of a dynamic people pulling together, often in adversity but also often with an optimistic or celebratory smile, to make life better for the next generation.

If some of the most treasured items in a household are the photographs of key moments - a newborn baby, a son or daughter graduating from college or a day out at the fair - then this beautifully-bound volume is China's family album, capturing the highs and lows, the industry and the celebrations, the challenges and the achievements.

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