Museum of Handcraft Paper in a Yunnan village

By Xu Jing ( ) Updated: 2015-10-29 16:56:52
Museum of Handcraft Paper in a Yunnan village

Children use Wi-Fi and chat near the museum on weekends. [Photo by Xu Jing/]

"I've been fond of reading and writing since childhood, so I'm curious about everything, about paper naturally, especially traditional handmade paper. In addition, I always hope to do something for rural construction in the country. That's why I choose here. At present, I have to say it's pretty busy to get everything on track. I worked on setting up a bilingual official website recently. In the future, we may create more artistic designs with the local handcrafted paper, and try to find the balance point of tourism development and keeping the original character of the village," she said.

New changes have come to the village with their arrival. The most obvious one is more children prefer to stay in the museum when they return home from boarding schools in the town on weekends. On the ground floor of the museum, there's a rural library with hundreds of books. More important, Wi-Fi was connected to the village this June. Like a window to the broad world, children learned more about the outside world from the museum.

"In our village, there are so many left-behind children. Their parents work in other cities and go back home only once a year, even every several years. Their grandparents are aged and always busy with farming works and papermaking. I'm happy that the museum is the place where they read and play with us, with each other. As you know, company is the best gift for those kids. Maybe that's why we are accepted by the villagers," said Liu Kankan.

Definitely, rural life is not as idyllic in outsiders' eyes and imaginations, especially for people who lived in the city for a long time. Although they visited all 53 households in the village, and kept a good relationship with several villagers, due to the lack of spiritual connection, they can not be fully integrated into the village. As Li Yijiao said inadvertently: "Sometimes, when I walked back to the museum after supper with villagers, I see the museum towering at the entrance of the village, and suddenly fell into loneliness."

In this regard, Liu seems to keep an easier attitude: "Everyone has his special way to recognize the world. We can't expect others to accept and understand you totally, or do whatever in your way, especially those with a completely different education background and life experience. For me, just do what you want, and that’s enough. The result or other people’s view about me is not that important."

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