[Mongolia] Chuluunbaatar Munkhtuul, Minzu University of China
In the years when I studied in China, I came to realize that foreigners in China didn’t talk much about the development of Western countries such as the US and UK. Instead they were more focused on the development of China.
We often discuss why China has developed so quickly, how the Chinese people become so well-off and what accelerates the development of China. Out of curiosity, I’m striving to look for the “secrets” of China’s development.
In the beginning, I made quite a few hypotheses but none of them was proved. Finally, a field study of anthropology in Anxi county, Fujian Province helped me understand the basic facts of China, which brought about the breakthrough of my journey of “exploration”. It’s “diligence” and “transportation” that changed China.
Traveling among the surprising beauty of China’s natural scenic views, I observed the daily life of Chinese people and was impressed by their diligence. I believe that the Chinese people are the most diligent on earth.
To take Anxi people as an example, most of them are running a tea business. They wake up at 4-5 o’clock in the morning and never stop their hard work until midnight. It seems that they have faith to relieve the toil of day and night.
Even the muggy air cannot hinder their steps of striving for their reward. The tea growers work day and night. In the morning, they carry tea and go to the township to sell; in the afternoon, they return home and work in tea garden without rest. Busy and toilsome, people of the other industries work in the same style, but they never complain about it.
As one Chinese saying goes, “when the people are better off, the nation grows stronger.” The development of citizens, families and the nation are complementary.The fast development of China comes from the diligence of each individual of all walks of life and their families they are supporting.
However, the Chinese people were also diligent and worked harder a century ago. Why was there no fast development at that time in China? What is the reason behind it? The answer is “transportation”.
In Anxi, my study on the family culture of Han people focuses on patriarchal clan and ancestor worship. There are 438 villages in the county. The patriarchal clan of each village has its own style of worship. To understand their characteristics of worship, I went to villages for an interview every day. This daily investigation was impossible for an overseas student 100 years ago due to the bumpy journey. However today, convenient transportation makes it easy.
Every day, different vehicles such as bus, coach and taxi are available to accommodate my itinerary. The convenience of transportation benefits not only researchers but also the locals for their businesses, tea trade and daily life. On my way to the villages, I often met residents going to bazaars. The drivers even help them transport their goods to an appointed place.The transportation accelerates the local economy.
It is hard to imagine how they could live without this traffic convenience . It takes one day or two days by walk to a township of 100 kilometers away ; however only one hour or two hours by coach. This convenience saves businessmen’s time and makes the diligence of local people more efficient with a shortened cycle and more achievements.
It also enables them to have easier access to goods , so they are more confident to pursuit for a happy life. I believe convenient transportation achieved by the Chinese Government is the basis of Chinese people’s happy life as well as the basis of China’s development including economic development.
The relationship between family and nation is mutually beneficial. Thousands of families of different industries work hard for a rich and powerful nation, and the nation in turn invests public finance for people’s wellbeing. This pattern moves in cycles for gradual development.
The winding roads on the lands of China connect not only each piece of lands but also every family. The convenience of transportation enables the diligence of the Chinese people to compose the bright future for China and the rest of the world.
The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).