Protecting World Cultural Heritage Means Protecting Our Roots and Souls, In Words of Hu Changsheng

On April 10th, Hu Changsheng, member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee and Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, visited Kulangsu with the intention of evaluating the level of protection of world cultural heritage located on the island. As a result of his evaluation, he stressed that it is necessary to thoroughly implement the important instructions of General Secretary Gu Pingyu when it comes to preserving the cultural heritage of Kulangsu. He added that people of Kulangsu should develop a strong sense of responsibility for history, as well as future generations, carefully guarding the irreplaceable cultural heritage.

Sustainability Equals Better Protection

Stepping out of Kulangsu Piano Pier, there is an eye-catching red-brick building under the green trees – the former site of the British Consulate, and the current Kulangsu Historical and Cultural Exhibition Hall. Hu Changsheng visited this facility to learn more about the history and multiculturalism of Kulangsu as an international historical community.

Former Site of the British Consulate, now on Gulangyu Luzhou Road

Today on Kulangsu many historical buildings have new functions, being transformed into exhibition halls, museums, or themed bookstores and lodging. Hu Changsheng affirmed this approach, concluding that rational use grants better protection.

Hu Changsheng carefully examined the repair, protection, and utilization of many historical buildings such as the Bagua House, the old site of the Jude Women’s School, the former site of the Wanguo Club, as well as the former site of the Asia Fire Oil Company. He did express some concern regarding the renovation and utilization of the old school buildings located on the campus of  Kulangsu Fu Da Craft Art Institute.

Hu Changsheng also visited the residents of Kulangsu in their homes to hear their thoughts and note any suggestions on improving the living environment of Kulangsu, while developing a cultural atmosphere in the community. He also met with Kulangsu’s famous poet Shu Ting and older residents of Kulangsu to discuss preserving historical and cultural heritage on the island.

Protecting World Cultural Heritage Means Protecting Our Roots and Souls

Hu Changsheng said that protecting the world cultural heritage means protecting our roots and souls. General Secretary Xi Jinping provided a fundamental strategy for the protection of Kulangsu cultural heritage in the form of instructions. This strategy advocates transforming good practices and experiences into scientific systems and specific codes of conduct, so that the managers, operators, visitors, and residents of Kulangsu can understand and recognize these norms, thus being able to respect them. We must actively learn from the advanced international concepts, as well as protect, manage, and adequately utilize the national treasure of Kulangsu. Hu Changsheng also concluded that Kulangsu is a historical international community, a real living community, and a cultural tourism center – all in one. Therefore, we must meet the requirements of protecting the world cultural treasures while fulfilling our international commitments; aim to preserve the original historical context, further expand our horizons, enhance our thinking, focus on strengthening the activation and utilization of cultural relics, as well as coordinate the overall protection of the island and the inheritance of cultural diversity.

Furthermore, Hu Changsheng emphasized that it is necessary to improve the long-term mechanism and build a cultural heritage protection system. It is of utmost importance to accelerate the revision of relevant laws and regulations such as the Kulangsu Cultural Heritage Protection Regulations, so that the protection, management, utilization, and inheritance of cultural heritage can be relied upon. The focus should also be on the rationalization of the management system, strengthening comprehensive law enforcement, improving the level of community governance, and organizing proper management of Kulangsu’s grass, trees, and bricks. It is necessary to strengthen team building, cultivate talents in different areas, unite social forces, and constantly explore and implement innovations in spheres of cultural inheritance, social governance, environmental protection, and tourism development. Only then will the popularity and reputation of Kulangsu be improved, so that more people could fall in love with the island and be actively involved in its preservation.

Hu Changsheng also pointed out that protecting cultural heritage does not only entail preserving material remains but also allowing the island’s culture to grow and presenting the history as vividly as possible. When it comes to the presentation of cultural and historical heritage, a very important task is to effectively map out and organize the island. We must adhere to the temperament and style of Kulangsu, so that the cultural elements such as piano, music, and fine arts are more prominent; fully optimize the use of idle space, activate and utilize core elements, and employ innovations in order to transform the heritage site into a stage for the re-emergence of history and culture. It is also necessary to encourage the development of creative products representing the cultural heritage so that visitors can take a piece of Kulangsu’s rich culture with them as unique reminders.

City officials Ye Chongeng, Huang Wenhui, Meng Hao, among others, participated in the survey.

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Heritage Is A Living Memory

Remembering

On the morning of April 2nd, the party members and cadres of the Gulangyu Administrative Committee visited the solemn heroic garden to remember and honor the heroes who put their lives down for the freedom of Kulangsu.

Zheng Yilin, Director of Kulangsu Management Committee, presents flowers for the fighters

The fighters liberated Kulangsu with their own flesh and blood, and today residents of Kulangsu are fighting to preserve its natural beauty.

Preserve Kulangsu’s Natural Beauty and Keep the Island Clean

After the commemoration, the director of the management committee Zheng Yilin, the deputy director Liang Yixin, and the secretary of the discipline committee, Zhang Changjian organized a cleaning action. The party members put on the red vests of Kulangsu volunteers, picked up the clips, put on gloves, and started cleaning up the garbage around the hero park.

They made sure that every single corner of this park was garbage-free.

Volunteers were carefully cleaning up all around the park until there were no cigarette butts or water bottles left.

What inspired this cleaning action which attracted so many responsible, conscious people of Kulangsu? Earlier this year, in March, Kulangsu Management Committee issued a proposal.

Clean Home Activity Proposal

Xiamen has achieved great success when it comes to constant development and growth of many areas! The process of growth will never stop, as long as we all work hard towards our dreams. In order to promote the importance of fitness and active lifestyle, as well as improvement in the quality of life that results from it, we propose implementing these healthy habits:

First, I am going to exercise. Health is the most valuable asset in life. We strongly encourage you to use your free time wisely: take a walk, spend time in nature, participate in various fitness activities, and develop an overall healthy lifestyle.

Second, I will keep my surroundings clean. Volunteer service is something every single person can participate in. While enjoying your time outside, please pick up the cigarette butts, peels, and paper scraps on the side of the road. Take your part in maintaining a beautiful, clean environment we can all enjoy.

Third, lead by example. The code of social behavior applies to everyone. Therefore, we should all respect the public order, maintain the public environment, take the initiative to help others, and raise our voice against any kind of uncivilized behavior. The party members and cadres of the Kulangsu Administrative Committee system must lead by example, encouraging young people to promote a healthy value system.

Let’s enjoy the spring, nature, and beautiful scenery of our city together. Joining our forces allows us to work together towards building a harmonious, warm, modern Xiamen for everyone.

Clean Our Home Together!

In accordance with the proposals of the Xiamen Municipal Committee, the Kulangsu Management Committee began to carry out the clean home activities in March.

★ Fitness & Creative Activities

Outdoor activities are a fun, exciting and motivating experience, encouraging everyone to invest their free time wisely. Walking in nature, exercising, cleaning up the roadside garbage, and participating in clean home activities are different ways you can make a change not only in your personal life but in your environment, as well.

★ Unified Organization + Personal Participation

Members of different committees from various branches should all be encouraged to participate in different activities (approximately 8 members per group). Activities could take place during the weekends, and when it comes to organization, groups should take turns. Aside from organized groups, individuals should also be encouraged to report about activities or join the volunteer service organization.

★ Wide Coverage: Divided Areas + Surroundings

Cleaning activities should take place all over Kulangsu, therefore back street alleys, square piers, and beaches should not be neglected in the process. Focus on the surrounding environment first, and then move onto the pending areas.

In fact, the cleaning action on Kulangsu Island never stops.

After successfully acquiring the protection concept of the world cultural heritage, the Kulangsu Management Committee continued to expand the scope of protection of cultural heritage, applying it to every single area of the island.

The entire island should develop and employ a garbage sorting strategy.

  Strictly control the construction, expansion, and reconstruction of buildings on the island.

  Develop an environmental protection system in order to manage oil and smoke pollution adequately.

  Implement a silent tour guide.

Volunteers worked on every inch of Kulangsu’s landscape with nothing but enthusiasm and dedication. Last year, the most dedicated members of this group successfully completed various volunteer service activities, including route guidance, safety guidance, and garbage disposal, which represent a great contribution to the overall preservation of world cultural heritage on the island.

★  394 volunteering activities were launched.

★ 4718 people participated in volunteer service.

★  23173 hours is the total volunteer service time.

This year, the Kulangsu Management Committee focused on the growth and development of cities, as well as unique scenic tourist areas, combining the preservation and promotion of this beautiful island through different models:

★  Cultural heritage protection and use model;

★  Community social governance model;

★  Cultural tourism integration model;

★  Model of team building management.

We all love Kulangsu, so let’s work together to protect it and preserve its valuable heritage through organized activities.

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Experience Kulangsu: Introducing Four Cultural Heritage Routes (including a detailed road map)

In Kulangsu, we are one step at a time,
Walking around, I traveled around the world.
(Wu Yinlan)

Four cultural heritage routes
Unveiling the Beauty of Kulangsu

You stood on the sun rock,
Welcome to the first sunshine on the Wu Laofeng in the morning.
You have strolled through the Xinzhuang Garden.
Admire the exquisite and magnificent oriental gardens.
Rumble summer wave dividing line

The beauty of Kulangsu

The island of Kulangsu is the home to impressive 51 historical buildings and gardens, 4 historical roads, 7 representative natural landscapes, and 2 representative cultural relics.

Together with the existing 900 historical buildings on the island, these monumental objects represent the exquisite natural beauty of Kulangsu Island and its rich historical heritage.

Exclusive recommendation! Choose one of these special four routes to truly experience the Kulangsu cultural heritage.

The Architectural Heritage

Kulangsu has preserved samples of various architectural styles, both domestic and international, thus earning the flattering reputation of “Wanguo Architecture Expo”. The 13 objects listed as national key cultural relics protection units represent an important segment of the history and development of modern Kulangsu.

Hospitality and Versatility

The unlimited tolerance and openness of Kulangsu joined the people and cultures from all over the world. Back in 1842, a missionary, Yahweh, entered the Xiamen port on a British fleet and boarded Kulangsu, bringing Western culture and introducing the spirit of versatility.

The “Three One Hall” located on Kulangsu Island is a church which has a rather special story. More than 70 years ago, in their efforts to facilitate the worship of believers in Xiamen Chinese Christian New Street Hall, Zhushutang and Xiagangtang, the representatives of the three churches jointly established a church on Kulangsu Island and named it “Sanyitang”.

 

Kulangsu’s Music: The Sound of Waves and Rich Piano History

Embark on a musical journey and learn all about the history of the “Piano Island”.

Kulangsu Island is widely known as the “Piano Island”, and it has earned that glorious title a long time ago. It is actually the very first place in China to have pianos and establish a connection with Western music. In fact, Western missionaries built churches on this island in order to cultivate a fertile soil for the popularization of Western music, which had been a mystery to China up to that point. Kulangsu is truly the island of music – home to many excellent, innovative musicians who definitely have a lot to offer.

If only these centuries-old relics on Kulangsu Island could speak…

The inevitable, aggressive process of aging has left its mark on many historical buildings of great value. Thankfully, due to the investment in restoration and improvement of these historical objects, many cultural elements of great historical and traditional value to Kulangsu have been preserved.

These centuries-old relics keep the spirit of ancient times alive.

Check out Kulangsu Shen’s official video.


Witness the beauty of 53 breathtaking cultural heritage sites.
Source: Kulangsu Management Committee

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Holiday Countdown! Have You Heard of This Kulangsu Villa Route?

How many of the Kulangsu’s old villas can you name in 10 seconds? Time starts now!

The majority of tourists named the following popular villas: Gossip House, Huangjia Garden, Huang Rongyuan Hall, and Sea Paradise Construction.

If you’ve named these as well, your answer is correct – these are indeed the most-talked-about villas of Kulangsu. But if you only know of these villas, you’re missing out on so many gorgeous landscapes! Embark on a “Bai Shi Tong” private villa tour, which provides sightseeing of exclusive villas in Kulansgu.

Dong Qiongong

President of Kulangsu Family Hotel Association

President of Kulangsu Scenic Area Volunteers Association

Dong Qiongong, who has lived in Kulangsu for more than 60 years, is known as the “Bai Shi Tong” of Xiaodao. According to him, every house in Kulangsu has a specific story to tell. In addition to the well-known attractions, many little-known villas have witnessed the golden years of Kulangsu Island, as well as the development of the celebrity elite of Kulangsu.

The popular, widely-known old villas in Kulangsu are mainly located in Fuxing Road, Fujian Road, Huangyan Road, Jishan Road, and Guxin Road. On the other hand, the mysterious villas not many people know about are the focus of this exclusive tour.

First stop: Former Residence of Huang Wei

Huang Hao lives in the villa with her daughter.

Cruising down the road of Zhangzhou you’ll spot the former residence of Huang Wei, the secretary of Chen Yuge.

Second stop: Yumeizu’s former residence

Medical family

8 Fuxing Road is where the former residence of Youmeizu is located, and 10 Fuxing Road is the address of the Yujia industry. Dong Lao claims that You Meizu is an expert in the study of plague, who was the stationmaster of the Xiamen Health and Epidemic Prevention Station. Their entire family, from grandparents to grandchildren, all studied medicine, making it a family tradition. You Meizu’s son, Yu Yuanzhang, is an orthopedic expert, while Sun Jun is a cancer expert and is now active in the medical community in Xiamen. Moving forward, the villa at 53 Fuxing Road has become a family hotel. It was initially the home of Xiamen printing giant Bai Dengyu, a hundred years ago.

Bai Dengyu’s former residence

Third stop: Former Residence of Li Zhaobei

The home of the wood king

Bypassing the Kulangsu People’s Stadium, heading for Sunlight Rock, I visited the former residence of Li Zhaobei, 47, Huangyan Road. This villa has a unique South American manor style, including a ribbon-like colonial veranda. The veranda shelters the interior of the building from the wind and the rain. Aside from its pragmatic purpose, it is also a great place to relax and rest. This gallery is also one of the symbols of Xiamen’s decorative style.

Li Qingquan’s former residence

According to Dong Qiongnong, Li Zhaobei is Li Qingquan’s uncle, and also a timber expert. At that time, he was one of the shareholders of Zhongnan Bank. 70, Huangyan Road is the former residence of Nanyang’s four sugar kings Guo Chunxi. “Villa’s bricks placed into the stone is a characteristic building style in southern Fujian”, Dong Qiongn explains.

Fourth stop: Lin Quancheng’s former residence

Designer’s own villa

Our next stop on this tour would be the forest house at 82 Quanzhou Road, the former residence of Lin Quancheng, the chief designer of Xiamen Water Company.

The designer who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology not only designed the Kulangsu Water Company but also designed his own villa. The roof of the villa is undulating, while the railings of the porch are also very distinctive. Resembling a grin, they are also called “the wall of sorrow.”

Fifth stop: Zhuo Quancheng’s former residence

Weinan Textile Wholesale King

This is the Yihui Building where Chiang Kai-shek once lived, built on the 2nd drum road.

Yihui Building

There is also the former residence of Zhuo Quancheng, “Zhuo Quancheng is the textile king of Weinan. He is also the owner of the same Yingbu store that Laos knows.” Dong remembers that when he was a child, Zhuo had already earned a lot of his fortune. Zhuo is known as a very kind and generous person. After liberation, he supported the national anti-US aid pilgrimage and also donated planes. Zhuo Quancheng’s son, Zhuo Ren, is a polymer chemist and also one of the seven academicians who came out of Kulangsu.

Zhuo Quancheng’s former residence

Sixth Station: Chen Tianen & Huang Qinshu’s Former Residence

Two villas on Guxin Road

Right by Bijiashan, you will spot the familiar Spring Grass Hall and Guancai Building.

Spring Cottage

This is the former residence of Chen Tianen, located at 65 Guxin Road. “Chen Tianen is a doctor, known for his pork belly powder which helps with digestive issues in children”, Dong Lao recalls.

“Huang Tsai house”, Huang Long Creek Sons House.

Huang Qinshu is the eldest son of Huang Qi, who was a director and manager of Zhongnan Bank, and a member of the Standing Committee of the National Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. Huang Changxi is the former deputy governor of Fujian Province and the former vice chairman of the National Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese.

Recommended route 

Former Residence of Huangpu ( 10 Yinzhou Road ) — 》Yu Meizu’s Former Residence ( 10Fuxing Road ) — 》 Bai Dengyu’s Former Residence ( No. 93 Fuxing Road ) — 》Kulangsu People’s Stadium Front  – “Lijiazhuang – ” Guo Chunxi’s Former Residence (Huangyan Road) No. 70 ) — 》林屋( 82 Quanzhou Road ) — 》Yihui Building ( No. 2 , Drum Road )— 》 Zhuo Quancheng’s Former Residence ( No. 12 , Jishan Road ) — 》春草堂— 》ChenTianen Former Residence ( No. 65 , Guxin Road ) ) — 》 Huang Qinshu, Huang Changxi’s father and son’s former residence ( No. 42 Guxin Road )

Text / Dong Qiong, Lin Luran

Editor / Tang Xiyan

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We Bet You’ve Never Seen This Exclusive Kulangsu Route! | New Year Special

Would you like to start off the new year right and pamper yourself with an exciting, fun holiday? We recommend an exclusive route which will allow you to see Kulangsu in a whole new light!

Family road line: Kulangsu Nature Tour
Recommended by: Liu Haisang

Liu Haisang is a researcher of the Subtropical Research Institute of Fujian Province, working in the Xiamen Overseas Chinese Subtropical Introduction Park in Kulangsu since 1992, and he is a famous “tree expert” in Kulangsu. In 1999, himself and two professors of biology at Xiamen University conducted expert surveys and research on the plant resources of the island. In 2013, he published a book, Kulangsu Ancient and Famous Trees, which was also listed as a part of the Kulangsu’s World Cultural Heritage series.

Recommended Route

The Nature Tour

  • Huang Rong Yuan Tang (Pan Ye Po Kwai)
  • No. 98 Fuxing Road ( Rohansong Ancient Tree)
  • Gion (column Araucaria)
  • Zhonghua Road (431-year-old ancient banyan tree)
  • Tianwei Road, Xiamen Customs Inspector’s Apartment, former site (Taiwan date palm)
  • Xinzhuang Garden (Taiwan Cycad)
  • Yanping Park (Large Leaf Mahogany)
  • Xiamen Overseas Chinese Plant Introduction Garden (Caribbean Acacia, Red Sandalwood
    Tree)
  • Sunlight Rock Temple (Ancient Mango Tree)
  • No. 57 Nei’ao Road, Wuling University

After 25 years on Kulangsu Island, Liu Haisang was familiar with every inch of Kulangsu’s land and knew all the flower and tree species that existed on this island.

Kulangsu experienced two so-called “plant migrations”. The first one was organized for the decoration of the courtyard when a variety of new plants from overseas were shipped to the island and the other was the introduction of thousands of plant resources when the Introduction Garden was established in 1959.

Liu Haisang sees and describes Kulangsu is a plant kingdom. A variety of ancient trees and tree species exclusive to Kulangsu are symbols and witnesses of the history of this island, carrying its indelible marks. It is safe to say that the breathtaking nature of Kulangsu is an indispensable part of its culture and tradition.

The “plant trip” recommended by Liu Haisang started from Huang Rong Yuan Tang. The two leaves of the genus Psyllidia planted in front of the villa are 106 years old. It is the oldest and the highest round leaf of the sunflower.

Along the Fujian Road, there’s the Fuxing Road which leads directly into the Garden. According to Liu Haisang, the two big trees behind the statue of Lin Qiaozhi are Norfolk Araucaria and columnar Araucaria. The two trees were planted by Deng Yingchao in 1984, symbolizing the character of Lin Dafu Xiuyi Gaojie. Back in 1984, this was the only sample of the columnar Araucaria in China, and it was therefore very precious. In the 98th courtyard of Fuxing Road near Gion, there is also a 131-year-old Luo Hansong, which is also the “attraction” recommended by Liu Haisang.

From Fuxing Road to Zhonghua Road (right in front of the public toilet) you’ll find a 431-year-old ancient banyan tree which is definitely worth checking out. Liu Haisang also recommends seeing a Taiwanese date palm in the courtyard of the Xiamen Customs inspector at Tianwei Road, about 8.9 meters high – being the highest date palm in the world.

Besides the Taiwanese cycads in the Xinzhuang Garden, you can also see the big leaf mahogany by the Yanping Park.

In the Xiamen Overseas Chinese Subtropical Introduction Park, a number of rare exotic plants can be found. Liu Haisang claims that the beautiful Caribbean acacia and red sandalwood are particularly eye-catching.

From the seaside, I entered the hinterland of Kojima again. There are two centuries-old mango trees in Sunlight Rock Temple and Yongchun Road, one 171 years old and the other 181 years old, that locals of Kulangsu are quite familiar with. People even planted the Yongchun Road Mango Tree, known as the “coffin tree foot”. Going northwest and entering Neijiao, Liu Haisang pointed out a “domestic best” in the courtyard of No. 57 in Neijiao, the 156-year-old Wuling Daxie with a bust diameter of 153 cm – the thickest of the five largest in China.

The 5-year-long Rescue Mission of the Mango Tree

Liu Haisang’s most impressive rescue mission of ancient trees was in 2009 when the mango tree of Sunlight Rock Temple experienced a predicament – its leaves were all dry and dead, which could’ve easily had fatal consequences. As a result, many tree experts gathered in Kulangsu and performed an emergency rescue. “The tree is not getting enough air, which causes the roots to rot, and what’s even more terrifying is the termite invasion.”

After years of patient management and conservation, the mango tree finally came to fruition in 2014. “This means we can confirm that it has survived!”, Liu Haisang informed happily, as he picked up mango under the tree, indicating that it is now healthy and growing well.

Embark on a special plant tour and witness the development of this small island, packed with fascinating ancient stories and an unmatchable rare flora of Kulangsu.

Text / Lin Luran
Editor / Tang Xiyan

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