Today I went to a “Folk Culture Village”. It was interesting, in a low key way.
I have been to some pretty elaborate folk village type places, for example Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Yang Jia Bu Folk Culture Village wasn’t like that. They had some artisans doing work: kite makers, New Year’s print making and there was a calligrapher, although he wasn’t doing calligraphy at the time.
There seemed to be a genuinely old hamlet inside the boundaries of the park and there were two religious spots.
I am not clear enough about what is what to discuss them intelligently. One building had the figure with more than two arms, on the other side of that area there were anthropomorphized animals (I think the Chinese zodiac animals), however both sides had what appeared to be lots of tiny golden Buddha figurines in a rotating cone shaped thing (it made me think of a Christmas tree until I got close enough to see the Buddha’s).
The second reminded me of folk shrines in Qingdao and on Tai Shan.
The neatest part, however, was just walking around the hamlet. In many ways it reminded me of the home of a friend that we visited in the outskirts of Weifang.
There was a large compound that had many traditional garden elements, some reminiscent of Shi Hu Garden but more down to earth and less polished. For example, they were growing vegetables around the classic rock formations. I think that may have been the Yang family home (“Yang Jia” means “Yang home”).
Yang Jia Bu was not crowded when I was there and it was easy to imagine people sitting and playing Chinese chess in the alleys, working in the gardens, going to the shrine…the culture of the folks.