Some 10 million farmers in east China's Zhejiang Province have left behind the life style of their forefathers and started urban life in boomtowns that have prospered in tandem with the rapid development of township enterprises.
The boomtowns are just like any other big cities in China, with tall buildings, super markets, green fields, brightly-lit stores, restaurants and entertainment centers.
But for the former farmers, the changes are taking place not
just within the surroundings, but also in their own life style.
Most people, either business owners or workers, have given up their local dialects and managed to speak Putonghua, the standard mandarin, in a bid to get an easy access to city life.
Unlike their forefathers who used to go to bed after sunset, the townsfolk now enjoy a more colorful night life, shopping and going to theaters and disco bars, among others.
Senior citizens often go on sightseeing tours across the nation and sometimes overseas.
The younger generation, like all their peers, like to surf the Internet to find more about the outside world. Computers and pianos have become new favorites in these boomtowns now that most families have air-conditioners and color TVs.
The children are much luckier than their parents, most of whom have got little schooling. To seek sustained development, the townsfolk have attached great importance to their children's education. More kindergartens and primary and secondary schools have been set up and well equipped to provide quality training to the younger generation, intellectually and morally.
(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2001)