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Shanxi harmony taste

By François de la Chevalerie ( Updated: 2016-07-06 15:14

Wang Jia Da Yuan

Some time before, I went to the Wang Grand Courtyard "Wang Jia Da Yuan". Similarly, I wondered about the real meaning of this palatial mansion built in the Lingshi County from Kangxi Emperor's Reign to the Qing Dynasty. What are the driving forces behind those 231 small courtyards and 2,078 rooms, covering an area of 80,000 square meters? From the very onset of the Wang family, principles and methods, notably that of good faith, took over their everyday behaviors and daily thoughts. Moreover, they were inseparable of the Confucius philosophy. Each door, each fountain, each paving stone was conceived to fulfill the requirements of this profound belief.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Here, the step made by the Wang family. This is where their strength comes from. With these principled positions in mind, they invented a new dimension to the Economy. The merchant is primarily of all about a philosophy coming into our world. Rooted in the country's history, he serves the future with a determination and commitment that was second to none. His universe is codified to such an extreme point that nothing is left to chance. In order to ensure the long-term existence of his trading, he is accountable for the tradition as well as the modern world. As far as I learned, this is nowadays the general thrust of the Chinese government objective. Generally speaking, the Wang family paved the way of the today main achievements.


In so many Chinese cities, tall buildings are everywhere. Well preserved, Pingyao with its walls and narrow stone road is an exception.

« I went there to discover the "real" China » told once the former French President, Giscard d'Estaing in 2002. Real and accessible, an authentic taste of the country’s outstanding treasure.

Pingyao gives its beauty for the whole world, as a masterpiece of the China today harmony.


Later I came into a small village, Zhangbi, an ancient Fortress founded about 1600 years ago that aggregate two aspects: the appearance and the reality.

The appearance is its complex streets and a 1000-metre underground tunnel. Protected by high walls, the village is organized through a network of alleyways and narrow street labyrinth.

The reality is far more interesting.

The village name comes from the sky in-depth. Two constellations share its fatherhood. Zhang and Bi, with their respective associated animal’s ox and Porcupine.

I was anxiously wondering: why?

An old man approached me and extended his hand with a disarming smile.

« A long time ago, a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled the village. Suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around the people down there. Almost all energy here comes from those two constellations. Our village is seen as being in a constant process of re-creating itself, as everything that exists is a mere aspect of qi that becomes life, this indefinite potential. »

He added: « The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. »

Then he kept away, silently

From there, lies the secret of the today Chinese strength. Sky and earth melt imperceptibly together to create an Island of sublime peace, an aspiration to the infinite. And if something happened as for instance, an anger explosion, the sea and the sky will merge. In China, there is always a solution.


At the end of this trip, we went in a village named Qikou on the banks of the Huang He. The legendary river flows smoothly through a large part of the country. Far away from modern stress, time goes slowly and quietly. There lies the true touchstone of peace, what is known as the "Wisdom of China".

My heart started to beat faster, more strongly than usual, but devout peace lay in my soul, which surprise me because I was not like that in general.

Finally, under a blazing sun, I'm beginning to understand a little more of how China is all about, here in Shanxi.

I felt as if my soul had at last found its home.

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