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Villages vitalized by terraces to heaven

Longsheng's spectacular Longji landscapes usher in environmental and cultural tourism boom, Yang Feiyue reports.

By YANG FEIYUE | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-06 09:34
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Local residents carry goods through a field of rapeseed flowers in Longsheng.[Photo provided by Huang Liujun/For China Daily]

Various-sized oxen made of bamboo strips with colorful cloth for the head and tail danced to the accompaniment of gongs and drums. Farmers dressed in distinctive Dong outfits holding plows and whips followed closely in their wake.

The performance took place as part of recent spring celebrations in Guangnan village, Longsheng autonomous county of various ethnic groups in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which is home to many ethnic minorities.

For centuries, the dancing spring oxen have not only been viewed as divine by the villagers, but have also embodied their hopes for better lives in the new year.

Mountains, scarce farmland, and poor transportation once sealed Guangnan off from the outside world and with just a few acres of paddy fields, local residents used to struggle to make ends meet, which is why the cow is the villagers' best helper, says Wang Kaiqi.

"We have a profound respect and love for cattle," the villager in his 70s says.

In the past, residents were impoverished, only able to grow crops like rice and ginger to earn a meager living. Things have significantly changed over the past decade, since the local government encouraged them to expand into new crops and to take advantage of the area's beautiful countryside and ethnic cultures to develop tourism.

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