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Deputies Propose Establishment of Chinese Farmers' Day
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A proposal on establishment of Chinese Farmers' Day was submitted to the Fifth Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on March 4, 2007.

It was presented by Jiang Deming, vice director of the Agricultural Promotion Center, Sheyang County, east China's Jiangsu Province, together with 36 other local NPC deputies.

Jiang said about 900 million, or 70 percent, of the national population is farmers. Therefore, since Chinese population growth is mainly in the countryside, Chinese farmers should have a red-letter day of their own.

"Many red-letter days were established by vocations or social identities, like International Women's Day, Chinese Youth Day, International Children's Day and Army Day," Jiang said, "Teachers' Day (September 10), Journalists' Day (November 8) and Nurses Day (May 12) have also been set up since the 1970s, contributing much to raising their social status."

Many foreign countries have such a day for farmers, and especially in consideration of agricultural importance to China's development, it would be appropriate to add one here, Jiang added.

Agriculture, countryside, and farmers are important issues among China's national work, with farmers at the heart of the matter. However, farmers are still an underrepresented group in China. To establish Farmers' Day will not only strengthen their sense of confidence and pride, but can urge the whole nation to further take care of farmers as well.

The deputies suggested the best time for a Farmers' Day would be in spring or autumn, since spring is a slack season and autumn is the harvest season.

If spring is chosen, the day could be selected either at Beginning of Spring, the first seasonal division point, usually falling on February 4 or 5, or at Rain Water Day, the second seasonal division point, usually falling on February 19 or 20.

Or, if autumn is preferred, the best day would be September 1, since nine is a heavenly number that is referred to as "many" or "huge". The day would be perfect for Chinese farmers, by far the largest group in the nation, to enjoy such an honor.

(China Development Gateway by Unisumoon March 9, 2007)

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