Links within blockquotes added during translation. The original article also contains some links, but the pictures linked to don’t appear to load – JR
Enorth (Tianjin), October 31, 2012 —
Editors note: to welcome the Party’s 18th National Congress, to display the results of Tianjin’s persistent work of creating happier lives and a good future, and to display the scientific implementation of economic and social life, especially the lives of the common people, Enorth launches “Welcoming the Party’s Eighteenth National Congress – Going to the Grassroots to Report the Changes”, to bring into play the characteristics of the internet, to look at Tianjin’s development and to discover the individual changes from the perspective of Enorth’s many netizens. Today, we publish “Small Cameras Record the Changes in Binhai Village”.
Enorth News: “This is Dagang‘s agri-touristical project, this is the newly-established wetlands park project – you can see how well our new village project is going …” Browsing his own photographs on the Enorth Forum, Wu Zongyu is thrilled, continuously sighing to the reporter with emotion. “With such rapid development of my hometown, even I, coming from this place myself, feel amazed.”
Fourty-year-old Wu Zogyu is a native from Binhai New District, Dagang, Taiping Village. A year ago, he and one of his colleagues uploaded photos of fresh flowers to Enorth’s forum, and were showered with praise. After so much encouragement, he fell in love with photography and sharing his joy and his works with others on the forum. Therefore, Wu Zongyu bought a micro camera online and started a website with the romantic and canorous name “Grass-Green cqq”.
Currently, Wu is very active in the forum, ever since registering late last year, he has published more than 100 photo posts, becoming Enorth Forum’s “news eye internet reporter”.
However, Wu Zongyu only humbly tells the reporter: “In fact, I just want to show the “new village” in my heart to everyone, to let more people know how happy our lives are…”
[A set of photos]
Old Memories, New Village
“My hometown was handed over to Tianjin from Heibei Province and belongs to Tianjin’s outlying districts. Therefore, the folk customs of some of the elderly remain intact, especially during spring festival. People say that these older people are slowly ebbing out. But I believe that this is part of our intangible assets, and should be preserved and be passed on.
Most of Wu’s works reflect life in his hometown, this land’s folk customs, changes, and development. This has become his greatest joy.
“Look, this was during spring festival, a photo of the villagers coming together. It is in fact very different from past spring festivals”, Wu says. “In the past, people on a picture were formal, but now, such a scene shows the real feeling of spring festival and keeps the fun of the occasion [on picture]. That’s no small thing when walking across a market.
And this is the integrated metropolitan farm in Dagang, the “Four Seasons Idyllic Countryside” ecological park. It will open soon, providing tourism, eating and drinking, pasttime etc. services. How could the village attract any tourists in the past, as a remote backwater place, not to mention the recreational benefits it now provides…
“Look at this one, this is the aircraft factory built by the Dagang villagers. Looking at this plane, you might find it dumbfounding that villagers can do something related to aircraft, this is our party’s and our state’s strengthened development, with good policies, and that’s the life of us villagers nowadays.” Saying this, Wu Zongyu is very proud.
[Another set of photos – two pictures related to the four paragraphs above]
Happiness is a home, possessions, and a husband or wife
Talking about life today, Wu Zongyu emotionally tells the reporter that he grew up with four brothers in a small home. Life was very hard, and often, having had a meal, they hardly knew where the next meal would come from. Now it was different. He bought himself a car, lives in a tower block, and his brothers all have a flat as well.
A few days ago, on CCTV, after he had watched an interview titled “Are you Happy”, he had his own understanding of happiness: “Happiness is a feeling, it’s when you compare with your own past, in the old days, [unsure about the following lines’ meaning – JR], everyone had to plan, but it was mostly colorless. If you were poor or rich, as long as you lived your life safely and down-to-earth, happiness was in contentment. To use my mother’s words: ‘As long as there’s a home, possessions, and a husband, as long as there’s your family, economic security, and when parents, wife and children are in good health, isn’t this happiness?'”
Watching Wu Zongyu’s photos, the reporter felt warmth. Different from many landscape photos, Wu Zongyu’s photos exude an air of real life, village customs, changes, and new achievements, containing simple villagers enjoyment and appreciation, and also their expectations and prayers for a beautiful future life. Setting out from small topics, his photos really embody Binhai New Area’s achievements from development and opening up.
These days, Wu Zongyu’s lense ebulliently captures Dagang’s changes on each passing day. He says he hopes that his hometown will develop better and better, will let more people come to Dagang to feel this spirit, and he hopes that there will always be people to cultivate this land, and constantly reaping the fruits.
(Fu Wenchao reporting.)