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Culture gives new meaning to life in city

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-12 07:09
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Visitors look at a statue in the European art center of Hangzhou Library. The venue is open to the public for free. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hangzhou's many cultural events have led to increased citizen participation, too.

Festivals inspired by the culture of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and the Qiantang River have integrated traditional activities including tea competitions, arts exhibitions and poetry recitation.

Between 2007 and 2017, Hangzhou has seen growth in value addition in the cultural and creative sectors, from 43.28 billion yuan ($6.87 billion) to 304.1 billion yuan. And the contribution of these sectors to the city's GDP has grown from 10.5 percent to 24.2 percent.

One of the highlights of the cultural sector is the emerging digital content industry, which contributed 187 billion yuan in 2017 to the total output from the cultural and creative sectors, an increase of 28.5 percent year-on-year, accounting for 14.9 percent of the city's GDP.

Separately, the Hangzhou Contemporary Theatre Festival has brought in 59 popular plays from around the world in the past six years, including ones from the Avignon Festival of France, the Edinburgh Festival from the United Kingdom, the Holland Festival and Japan's BeSeTo Theatre Festival.

Hangzhou's cultural events have also made their way to the countryside.

Du Chuanfu, in his 70s, uses Xiao Re Hun, a folk rap that mixes speech and song, to tell stories every Wednesday in the community he lives in.

Xiao Re Hun is one among 44 items on the national intangible cultural heritage list from Zhejiang province. There are another 167 items on the provincial intangible cultural heritage list.

Besides there are three items from the province on the UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage list.

Among the other activities in the province are Spring Festival activities which have been going on for the past decade.

This is when art troupes from Hangzhou give performances at rural venues, based on local requests. As a result, these galas of singing, dancing, local operas and short comic dramas have become a custom in these areas.

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