In slack farming season, villagers from Guanjiazui Village in Yangjiagou Township, Mizhi County in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, enjoy a vibrant cultural life. Many middle-aged and senior residents will gather in a seniors’ recreation center to perform Yangge, a distinctive collective folk art combining music, dance and stunts. Their enthusiastic performance attracts crowds of viewers who give prolonged and equally passionate applause.
Mizhi Yangge has been recognized as local intangible cultural heritage. On festive occasions and in slack farming seasons, villagers performing Yangge can be seen across the Loess Plateau. In recent years, Mizhi County has been thriving on prosperous economy after it shook off poverty. Local residents are more active in revitalizing traditional folk culture and their cultural activities are becoming more diverse.
“We set up the Yangge troupe under the initiative of the working group stationed by China Energy in our village,” said Guo Zongquan, Party chief of Guanjiazui Village. “This not only diversifies our cultural life, but also helps carry forward our traditional folk art.”
Greeting visitors to the seniors’ recreation center in the village are several fiery red drums, gongs and cymbals, as well as elaborately embroidered consumes, fans and umbrellas among other props for Yangge. The recreation center also flies a red flag with the logo of China Energy on the left corner and the name of the Yangge troupe at the center.
Rural revitalization is not only about prosperous industries, but also about culture. Cultural revitalization is of fundamental importance. In 2022, Shendong Coal continued fulfilling its due role as the head of the China Energy team for helping with the poverty reduction campaign. It actively worked to promote cultural revitalization in rural areas, supported villagers’ cultural and recreational activities, and provided a full set of facilities for the Yangge troupe. Shendong Coal opened a dedicated studio for the troupe and bought them costumes and props. While diversifying their recreational and art activities, the company also helped to improve villagers’ spiritual and cultural life amid efforts to realize rural revitalization.