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China Establishes Center to Save Folk Culture

A paper-cut salvation center was announced to be established Thursday afternoon in Weixian County in northern China's Hebei Province to preserve the endangered folk art.

"The center is designated to guide and promote the development of this folk art across the country," said Xiang Yunju, an official in charge of China's salvation of folk cultures.

Xiang said it would take the center about three years to compile a grand collection of paper-cut works by folk artisans scattering around the country.

Scissoring a story-telling picture or an amusing figure from paper has long been a popular pastime for women in China, where their paper-cuts are used to celebrate traditional festivals like the Spring Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, wedding and birthday.

However, the traditional art is facing extinction as few young people are willing to take the old business due to its complex techniques and low revenue.

"Our old folk cultures are vanishing since farmers are reluctant to pay enough attention to this tradition as their ancestors did," warned Sonam Dojie, who has collected and preserved folk cultures for years.

"The establishment of the center provide a glimpse of hope to save cultures like paper-cuts," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2003)




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