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Amorous feelings of the water city in the eyes of foreign experts
The 2nd International Conference on Cultural Heritage Protection and Sustainable Development was winded up recently, giving birth to Shaoxing Declaration which has attracted worldwide attention. During the free time of the conference, foreign experts toured the ancient city Shaoxing with great gusto. In their eyes, Shaoxing is a famous city with 2500 years’ history and cultural deposit, Shaoxing is like a heavy history book, every page you turn, you will become intoxicated and dream away for one sight or one matter over here.
 
Shaoxing consists of the essences of amorous feelings, ancient city, and culture of south Yangtze River Delta. Approaching Shaoxing, wherever you visit, whatever you touch, is all vividly revealing the amorous feelings of the water city and intoxicated verve. Shaoxing’s beauty lies on her site of ancient architecture, lies on her profound history, lies on a good many of celebrities she boasts, lies on her each water area, each bridge, each black sail boat, and lies on her each bluestone, each historic site, and each folk house.
 
The three-day 2nd International Conference on Cultural Heritage Protection and Sustainable Development was successfully concluded. Shaoxing Declaration produced by the conference will surely bring long-term effect, which will open a charming window for the world to further know Shaoxing and approach Shaoxing. The hurry figures reluctant to leave of foreign experts and scholars who were attending the conference are still there, from No. 68 Gate of Cangqiao Straight Street to Siyushi Front, from Xixiao River (Lv’s Mansion) to Liyu Bridge, from Baicao Garden to Sanwei Study. Casting the identities of experts and scholars away, they, as ordinary visitors, left behind what kind of impressions on Shaoxing, the oriental ancient historical and cultural city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first reader, Samueln Strokes, an expert on national park heritage protection of USA 
 
It’s the first time for him to visit Shaoxing, and he was surprises at Shaoxing’s beauty.
 
Intact reservation of Cangqiao Straight Street and simple and unsophisticated buildings made him amazed and reluctant to leave, and it’s a pity that he has never heard Shaoxing before. 
 
When the reporter met with Mr. Strokes on the road where the members of the experts’ team were visiting, he was very enthusiastic with the accompaniment of the reporter. For not interrupting his interests of touring, the reporter interviewed him along the road. Stepping on the bluestones, you can hear echoes of the long history in the alleyway, with white walls and black tiles on your both sides, the stone gates are presenting the great changes of the time, and yellow color or orange color flags are flying to and fro along the alleyway.   
 
“It’s the first time for me to come to Shaoxing. A little pity is I have never heard Shaoxing before. I read some documents before I came to Shaoxing, knowing some general situations of Cangqiao Straight Street, about the river, folk house, alleyway, and more than 800 families are living along the river. When I really came here, the visions greeting me go beyond my imaginations, which make me feel so excited and surprised. It’s so beautiful! The silent watercourse, the narrow alley, the firm and aged stone bridge, especially the intact ancient buildings are simple and unsophisticated, which are so familiar. Shoxing boasts such excellent cultural historic sites, and we should do more advertisement to the world. I’m so pride for being capable of seeing so beautiful ancient city!” said Mr. Strokes with smile.
 
On the Bridge of Fuqiao, Mr. Strokes happily drew his accompanier to take a photo. When other persons walked way, he was standing on the bridge alone and looked into the distance. In his eyes, is there any special point on there sceneries?  
 
“These residences were built near the water. Looking from the small bridge, it seems going out so far that the end can be seen. Meanwhile, it seems like everything is in plain sight. It’s obscure, mysterious, and particular, a little bitter like the water city Venice, but quite different. It’s very Chinese.” Mr. Strokes expressed his feelings emotionally. “It’s regrettable that the schedule is tight, what a pity that I have not tried to sit on a black sail boat of Shaoxing. But I can imagine, it must feel very good when sitting on a black sail boat and shuttling among the ancient buidings.” He said with aspiration.
 
The second reader, Keshav Varma, Director of East Asia and Pacific Area’s Urban Development Department of World Bank
 
The integrity of historic sites really made us surprised.
 
The historic block at Xixiao Road, and little fresh fish in moat, that’s what he prefer.
 
Sitting at the lobby of Shaoxing Hotel, the gentleman from Washington unexpectedly ordered a cup of green tea for himself. When he noticed a bit surprised expression in the reporter’s eyes, he said with pride, “I have been used to it. I drink green tea everyday in Washington, which is profound and implicit like Chinese culture, and becomes a kind of habit deeply in the mind unconsciously. ”
  
From his talks, the reporter has noticed that he was very familiar with China. He told the reporter that he had been China for over ten times, but the visit to Shaoxing is a fresh new feeling for him. Shaoxing is clean and orderly, presenting unique amorous feelings of the water city of south Yangtze River Delta. He was deeply impressed on the historic block of Xixiao Road, the whole road is paved by bluestones, very orderly and clean, and many historic sites are well kept in the block, which really make people amazed at the integrity of the conservation. Visitors can vaguely see the historical track of the development of the famous historical and cultural city.
 
On that day, the experts’ team toured Xixiao Road quite a long time, enjoying traditional folk houses such as Fu’s Gate, Hu’s Gate, and Yin’s Gate, and traditional Officers’ houses such as Dengke Gate, and Hanlin Gate, and temples such as Caojing Temple. They found that those ancient buildings were well remedied and protected, after seeing many works made by the government and investment effects, and they spoke highly of the right planning guiding on the ancient city made by the government, which paid great importance to and effectively protected Shaoxing’s non-renewable resources such as tourist resources, cultural and historic sites, and cultural relics.
 
When talking about the interesting topic on play, Mr. Keshav delightedly talked about when he visited the moat at night, a little fish unexpectedly jumped to him. As a ordinary tourist, he preferred these natural things, which made him actually taste the features of the ancient water city. Meanwhile, he proposed that the indication signs of Shaoxing’s tourist sites should be more international, furthermore, own facticity and feature should be maintained in some tourist souvenirs and handcraft goods. He has visited many Chinese cities, and always felt that the handcrafts of the cities are mostly the same, and he suggested that the ancient cultural city Shaoxing should develop more souvenirs of its own.
 
The third reader, Italian Architect Carrara
 
There are too many places I like, and I just mentioned a few.
 
As a architect, he also likes literature very much, and respects Mr. Luxun very much. 
“I can find out some cultural deposit wherever I go. Shaoxing is really a happy land for exploring culture! On the both sides of a narrow bluestone alleyway, there are white walls and black tiles, bamboo threads, stone gates, flower grids, and wooden windows. There are too many place I like, Luxun’s Former Residence, Sanwei Study, just mentioned a few. From the moment I stepped on the land of Shaoxing, I was infected by a kind of intense cultural and historical atmosphere.”
 
He told the reporter that after the conference, he would like to stay in the city and enjoy himself, especially Luxun’s Native Place, where he wanted to visit again. Although he is engaging in architecture, Mr. Carrara likes literature very much, particularly respects Luxun. He was deeply impressed by the characters in Luxun’s works such as Q, and Kong Yiji. He remembered that when he firstly came to attend a conference in Beijing, he wanted to take the opportunity to visit Luxun’s Former Residence, but he could not put it into action for some reason, and this time he finally fulfilled a long-time wish.  
 
At Sanwei Study, they not only saw the scene in those years of Luxun, but also felt the customs and rites written by Luxun. Mr. Carrara took many photos in Luxun’s Native Place, and he told the reporter that Luxun’s Former Residence and Sanwei Study were the birth place of Lucun, which were also the places Luxun grew, lived, and studies during his childhood and young age. We can find out the traces of many scenes written by Luxun. He was delighted that it’s well protected. Indoor furnishings are primarily displayed according to original appearance in those years, and many furnishings and articles are the protoplasts. A great deal of Luxun’s objects, photos, manuscripts, letters, and charts are displayed, lively reappearing the course of Luxun’s life, which quite inspired and enlightened him.
 
The fourth reader, Michel Moynier, Mayor of Narbonne City, France
 
The oriental Venice
 
The peculiar passion of Shaoxing people made him feel the hospitality like from the hometown.
 
As the only mayor invited by the conference, Mayor Michel Moynier made a speech on historic sites’ protection and sustainable development in the afternoon of June 1, arousing the attention of experts attending the conference.
 
“The first Asia tour is the visit to Shaoxing, the beautiful water city of south Yangtze River Delta, which made me quite delighted! My hometown Narbonne City is located in southern France, the seacoast of mediterranean sea, very similar with the geological position of Shaoxing in China. The unique passion of Shaoxing people made me feel the hospitality like from the hometown. I have heard of Shaoxing’s title of Oriental Venice, but never been personally on the scene. So I have doubted the title all the while. This time I came to Shaoxing, what I saw and heard made me very delighted. After a few days’ personal taste, I have absolutely removed the doubt in my heart. Shaoxing is worthy of the title of Oriental Venice. “
 
Due to the tight schedule, after visiting Luxun’s Native Place and Xixiao Road, Mayor Michel Moynier could not visit Cangqiao Straight Street. But he was deeply impressed on the two places. “I visited Luxun’s Native Place, and felt that your rebuilding on the historic sites were successful, which not only kept people’s living imprints of that time, but also kept the living customs and rites of Shaoxing people. Xixiao Road presents much strong living atmosphere. It’s cooking time when we visited there. I smelt the fragrance of rice flying from the folk houses, which immediately induced my appetite.” When he said that, Mayor Michel Moynier did a humorous action, everyone was laughing.
 
The fifth reader, Mr. Fink from Washington D.C., USA
 
Shaoxing is so beautiful like a picture, and it’s a pity that the schedule was tight.
 
He felt that it’s great for Shaoxing could well reserve these ancient things while developing its economy.
 
Mr. Fink has been to Beijing to attend the 1st International Conference on Cultural Heritage Protection and Sustainable Development in the year of 2000, but it’s the first time for him to Shaoxing.
 
“My knowledge on Shaoxing came from some documents of official organizations before. From these documents, I knew Shaoxing had grown rapidly, and the economy was very advanced. This time I stepped on the beautiful land, I am delightedly found that it’s so great for Shaoxing to well reserve these ancient things while developing its economy.” As a expert in this field, Mr. Fink paid great attention to the protection of historic sites.
 
After visiting Luxun’s Native Place, Xixiao Road, and Cangqiao Straight Street, Mr. Fink expressed that the three places were all excellent, boasting its own style. “Comparatively speaking, Luxun’s Native Place is much more like a tourist spot, Cangqiao Straight Street is much simple and unsophisticated, and it’s a pity that we only have three days. If I have more time to carefully taste, I am sure there will be more surprising discovers. “Mr. Fink told the reporter. 


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