Poyang Lake field trip in 2008


In the summer of 2008, I visited nine villages around Poyang Lake for my dissertation research. During my visits to the villages, I was, of course, impressed by the development progress I witnessed: newly built two or three layered houses, separated water systems for kitchen and other usages, solar panels on the roofs, children playgrounds and senior activity centers, concrete roads leading to every village, and even cars in a village famous for pearl-growing and jewelry-making. However, it was a village sitting on a hill which maintains a self-sufficient economy, those farmers who still grow things with their hands, and the fishermen with sun-tanned faces that moved me the most: there was a charm in them. Perhaps, I am a bit nostalgic, as I know all these will be gone in the name of progress.

Part I

  A village in a big polder

      A most traditional village


      Growing delicacy

      Cultivating pearls

      The risk of raising livestock

      The fate of a village near the county capital

      A model village from the New Rural Development Project

      Guys on the road

      A vendor comes to village

      Daily life


Part II


      A modern village

      Rural industry

      A price paid for development

      Empty new houses

      The same people I saw everyday

      Children on their own

      Wu Bao Hu (households without security, literally)

      Village leader's daughter getting married

      A nice evening

      Into the future


Note: I visited the villages with Qiang Wang, a college student at Jiangxi Normal University then. With his assistance, my field trips went beyond the original plan, and several professors at Jiangxi Normal University helped arrange the visits. I would like to thank all of them for making my field trips possible.