Huangtian 黄田

(Note: English text below Chinese)

黄田依山傍水,因为东江的缘故,曾是粤东山区一个交通枢纽、商业中心。到赶集的日子,就很热闹。但它还是一个小镇子。现在,它不但小,而且落魄了。因为现代交通的发达,东江似乎失去了它作为交通枢纽的作用。人们不再乘船远行,而是坐车走高速公路。年轻人也再守不住山区小镇的寂寞,渐渐离乡到大城市去。镇里唯一的客家围龙屋也只剩了个空壳。

但中国人总忘不了自己的根。人走了,家族的祠堂还是要建起来。有了祠堂,老祖宗才能保佑自己和后代。一月九日,黄田的曾氏祠堂落成,举行了入伙典礼。炮仗、香烛、锣鼓、舞狮表演和人群让平日寂寞的小镇忽然热闹起来。

Huangtian, a small Hakka town in east Guangdong Province, sits by the East River and in the valley of Gui Mountains. Before express highways were built, the East River was an important water way in the mountainous area, making Huangtian an important traffic and commercial center in old times. It was still a small town, though, with only one main street.

As economy develops in China and express highways were built, Huangtian has lost its role as a traffic and commercial center. With the young people leaving for bigger towns, Huantian is now a forgotten place. Its only traditional Hakka house, which is surrounded by modern but ugly houses, is almost empty.

But the Chinese always remember our root. Although people have left their hometown for bigger cities, they always return to worship their ancestors at their family shrines. When rich, people rebuilt their family shrines, which would bless them and their offsprings.The Shrine of the Zeng family was rebuilt last year and a ceremony was held on Jan. 9 to celebrate the new family shrine.

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