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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Big Dreams Put Into Four Models: Kulangsu’s Bright Future

This spring the protectors of Kulangsu’s natural beauty set brand new goals. They developed four unique models in order to adequately organize and direct actions.

So, do you know what these four models are?

★ Cultural heritage protection and use model

★  Community social governance model

★  Cultural tourism integration model

★  Model of team building management.

We all know that setting goals is just the tip of the iceberg. Determined people of Kulangsu are already acting on these decisions and taking matters into their own hands.

Goal 1: Cultural Heritage Protection and Utilization Model

The scope of protection extends to the entire island, and the building repairs insist on minimal intervention in order to preserve the original style.
After successfully implementing the protection concept of the world cultural heritage, the Kulangsu Management Committee continuously expands the protection scope, making sure that every inch of the landscape containing cultural heritage is under maximal protection, including the rest of the island.

One year after the successful implementation of the protection concept, Kulangsu is investing an incredible amount of effort when it comes to preservation of its valuable cultural heritage, and these are the main goals:

 Protect 53 cultural heritage core elements &  391 buildings;

  Develop a system containing specific boards for supervision, protection, utilization, research, and other important tasks in the heritage site;

 Actively monitor the cultural heritage protection system;

 Submit the revised draft of Kulangsu Cultural Heritage Protection Regulations;

 Complete the revision of the Kulangsu Cultural Heritage Protection Management Plan;

  Access the issue of the island waste sorting;

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

  Carry out rectification of the environmental protection project regarding the issue of oil and smoke pollution;

▶  Implement a silent tour to emphasize the “quiet” of the soothing island environment.

Last year, the Kulangsu Management Committee issued an announcement putting up 13 unclaimed houses on the island for sale. Kulangsu Management Committee and the applicants negotiated the follow-up repairs, which have been extremely time-consuming and complex. One of the 13 houses represents a great issue for the management since the repairing process has been taking longer than expected, and there are also certain complications when it comes to property rights. The Kulangsu Administrative Committee is also joining the discussion in order to find an optimal solution and protect these houses.

The staff of the Kulangsu Wenbao Department working hard on repairing historical buildings that have been damaged by vegetation.

Kulangsu Management Committee is facing difficulties that have long plagued the protection of heritage sites bravely. Constantly working on the burning issues, the management committee issued the Kulangsu Cultural Relics and Historical Buildings Fire Risk Assessment. In addition, they conducted a fire risk assessment and fire prevention planning for 391 historical buildings on the island.

Goal 2: Model of Community Social Governance

If you ask the children of Kulangsu to define the island, they’ll probably think of a quiet street, a piano sound that drifts in the wind, or a neighborhood that is like family. Residents of Kulangsu are the creators of its history and culture – and they are also the inheritors. Only by nurturing its community, its heart and soul, can this island truly flourish.

 Xiamen Erzhong and Xiamen Foreign Language School jointly re-introduced the English class and enrolled 90 primary school students in Xiamen.

 Kulangsu Home Economics Service Platform was established. The government implemented subsidies in order for price control to be established, and also provided quality housekeeping services such as cleaning, maintenance, and babysitting.

The island residents enjoy free transportation, among many other privileges.

Building a Co-Governance Platform

People’s feelings and public opinion will always matter.

The implementation of Huimin measures calls for close interaction between the residents and government departments. Since the establishment of the Gulangyu Public Council in May of 2016, it has held 8 meetings and discussed 34 important issues.

Kulangsu Management Committee seeks opinions from residents on road improvement and reconstruction.

In addition to the public council, Kulangsu also has autonomous organizations such as merchant associations and family hotel associations, which attract different social groups to participate in public affairs management. These associations also have an active role in the bilateral communication between government management and the public, and also promote the multilayered community governance in Kulangsu. Kulangsu Management Committee has also established cooperative relations with universities and other renowned educational institutions such as Tsinghua University, Xiamen University, and Huaqiao University, including them in the discussion regarding the protection and utilization of cultural heritage. The intellectual sphere of Kulangsu is where all the ideas regarding the current state and the future of the island are born.

Goal 3: Cultural Tourism Integration Model

Cultural and artistic activities are blooming in Kulangsu – a breath of fresh air.
Every single week, a wide range of cultural and artistic activities and events take place in Kulangsu. The unique Koji culture lives on and represents a vital part of Kulangsu’s culture.

Artistic Atmosphere in Kulangsu

  This year’s Kulangsu Spring Festival is broadcasted on CCTV.

Kulangsu often hosts original poetry readings, concerts, and dances promoting local music.

 In January of this year, the China Record Museum and the Xiamen Music School signed a cooperation agreement. In the future, student volunteers will have the opportunity to work as lecturers in the museum.

Annual “International Fan” football and rugby matches.

The Kulangsu Administrative Committee, along with the Municipal Finance Bureau and the Bureau of Land and Housing issued important measures regarding predominant concerns, such as non-residential public housing, cultural development, and promotion of sports. Kulangsu invests in cultural activities and supports culture in general, as cultural heritage has been recognized as one of the strongest assets. Through cultural activities, residents, as well as various organizations, are encouraged to actively participate in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage.

Numerous artistic events are organized every single week in Kulangsu.

When it comes to Kulangsu museum, it is their objective to promote the entire island, equally including the history and uniqueness of every single part. Kulangsu Management Committee also encourages residents to take part in the exhibitions and contribute to the museum by donating their own folk collections. In addition, the museum incorporated historical buildings into their open exhibitions. Kulangsu is working hard on transforming the current status of the island when it comes to global and cultural tourism, organizing complex tourism projects and focusing on creating a team of skilled individuals that will further improve the quality of tourism and presentation of Kulangsu. The main objective of this mission is identifying and accessing persistent problems in the tourism of Kulangsu.

Goal 4: Model of Team Building Management

Committee of the Kulangsu Scenic Area opened the Qindao Red Station – a cultural heritage monitoring center. On February 21st this year, Kulangsu Management Committee organized a collective meeting, in which members of each branch were able to report about their own activities and share experiences with others.

Volunteer service has grown on the residents on Kulangsu, and they are eager to continue in the same fashion. Focusing on preserving the island’s cultural richness and promoting numerous touristic areas, Kulangsu Scenic Area gathered more than 50 volunteer groups that participated in a series of activities.

On March 5th, the annual Xuefeng Volunteer Service Event took place – only this year it was bigger and more significant than ever. Volunteers from different parts of the island joined various culture-preserving activities, provided free meals, organized performances, and showed just how much they appreciate Kulangsu – their beautiful home.

Source: Gulangyu Management Committee / Editor: Tang Xiyan 

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After 25 years, star violist Jing plays with her lost Kulangsu Music School classmates on national reality TV

 

From the producers of “The Voice of China” come this nostalgic story, which aired on “iDream of China,” a blockbuster national reality TV show that brings almost every viewer to tears. The story begins when the renowned classical violist and violinist Jing Yang, who grew up on the fairytale south seas island of Kulangsu, “Piano Island,” discovers a dusty old photo of herself at age 8. The photo was taken with a group of Kulangsu Music School classmates and teachers that she played one childhood concert with, 25 years ago. Her dream is to find these lost friends after a quarter-century, and re-unite them to dust off their old instruments and play a concert together.

Jing’s musical journey to find her classmates takes her around the world, to the doorsteps and graves of her most beloved teachers. The 20-minute segment is full of heartbreak and hope, laughter and tears, and of course, beautiful classical music.

The segment kicks off with Jing shredding Vivaldi’s “Summer” on violin at more than 180 beats per minute, and in the grand finale, Jing what may be the most beautiful classical version ever played of Kulangsu Island’s unofficial theme song, “Waves of Kulangsu.”

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Can you recognize the scenes shot on Kulangsu Island in these famous Chinese movies and TV shows?

Gulangyu is a sweet island full of couples taking romantic wedding photos. But did you know it also appears in many beautiful and romantic film and TV dramas?

  1. Can you recognize where this is on Kulangsu?

It’s the spot where two of the biggest mega-stars in China, Angelababy and Zhao Youting, fell in love (or at least their characters did) in the blockbuster movie “The First Time.” Many of the movie’s scenes were shot on Kulangsu in romantic spots like this one, framed by majestic rocks and blue waves, places that are perfect for taking pictures, filming movies, or just a peaceful stroll.

Angelababy and Zhao Youting in “The First Time,” filmed on location in Kulangsu Island

In this movie, Angelababy’s heroine, Song Shiqiao, lives in Li Qingquan Villa on Kulangsu Island.

Angelababy and Zhao Youting in “The First Time,” filmed on location in Kulangsu Island
  1. This famous movie, starring Chen Kun and Xu Ruoxuan, tells of a strong love that crosses the strait. Does this background look familiar?
“Golden Waters,” starring Chen Kun and Xu Ruoxuan, shot on location on Kulangsu Island.
The famous Chinese movie “Golden Waters,” starring Chen Kun and Xu Ruoxuan, shot on location on Kulangsu Island.

Do you recognize this restaurant? It’s one of several Kulangsu restaurants that appear in the award-winning film “Golden Waters.” This one is called the Black Cat Dining Room, nestled in a romantic 1920 mansion along a tree-shaded lane on Kulangsu Island.

The Black Cat Dining Room, home of a scene in the Chinese movie “Golden Waters” with Chen Kun and Xu Ruoxuan.
Zhang Xiaorou in “Spirit”, filmed on location on Kulangsu Island

The protagonist of the Chinese TV drama “Spirit” is an optimistic girl, Zhang Xiaorou. In order to become a successful professional, she goes through a series of stories in Xiamen told by Yimi Yimei. Kulangsu often appears in the scenes, from its beaches to its streets, old villas, and tree-lined pathways.

These are only three of the many major movies and TV shows that have been filmed on romantic Kulangsu, a tropical fairytale island whose many gifts include the opportunity to relive the romance of the Chinese silver screen.

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