Lonely life of Patriarch Hall guard

Updated: 2011-10-21 13:57

(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Lonely life of Patriarch Hall guard

Xiang Shengde, 68, has been a guard and cleaner at Zushi (Patriarch) Hall in Laosicheng Site for 23 years. The site in Sicheng village of Yongshun county, Central China's Hunan province, has a history of over 1,000 years. Xiang moved into the house in 1988 as a guard and cleaner of the hall, which is rated a Class A heritage cultural property under state protection. Xiang has never married and does not have any children, and the hall's visitors consist of the occasional visiting experts and scholars. Without paper and electricity, smoking is the only thing Xiang can do to kill the long and lonely time. Living in isolation for decades, he has immersed himself in the long history of Laosicheng Site. Over the past 23 years, Xiang made plan to leave the site several times for Shenzhen, an economic hub in South China's Guangdong province. He earns 200 yuan ($31) a month from his guarding and maintenance job at Zushi Hall, which is a big increase from the 60 yuan per month he was making before 2009. In the end, Xiang chose to stay each time. "The place I guard has a Class A heritage cultural property under state protection and that is the responsibility the nation handed over to me. If there is no alternative, I will not leave. I cannot break my commitment to my country," said Xiang. Xiang's commitment remained unchanged for decades, but he has changed from a young man to an old man.[Photo/Xinhua]

 

Lonely life of Patriarch Hall guard

Xiang Shengde looks out into the view from Zushi (Patriarch) Hall in Laosicheng Site in Sicheng village of Yongshun county, Central China's Hunan province, Oct 19, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

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