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Events Held in Taishun to Memorize Tea-Picking Dance Song and Its Composer
Date:2023-05-22 10:11:09 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

The Tea-Picking Dance Song (“tea song”), called Jiang Nan Cha Ge in Chinese,has become a “County Song” of Taishun. It is written lyrically and musically by a famous Chinese music educator and composer Zhou Dafeng. Valued by all circles of Taishun, the song has been passed down to the present new era of economic development, and become an icon of natural and humanistic spirit of Taishun and even Zhejiang province. The song helps to propel Taishun's tea industry and cultural tourism, and the people’s common prosperity in the mountainous county.

May 11th marks the 65th anniversary of the birth of the tea song. On the same day, a series of events happened in memory of its appearance and also the 100th anniversary of its composer Zhou Dafeng’s birth. As the song widely spread, it has gained influence and been included in over 100 versions of albums released worldwide. It is recognized by the UNESCO as an excellent music teaching material for the Asia-Pacific region.

A partly-joking saying goes that“If you can’t sing the Tea-Picking Song, you are not a true local of Taishun ”. The saying implies its people’s profound emotion for the song. In recent years, the government and citizens of the county have made joint efforts to disseminate the song so as to help the county create tea brands and to promote its tourism development.

The tea song was designated as the county song in August 31, 2005. It is the first time that a tea song has received such an honor among China's over one thousand tea-producing counties. The song has been passed down and sung for many years. Today, many Taishun residents have set their mobile phone ringtones to the music. And it even serves as the tune of the class bell for primary and secondary schools in Dongxi Township, the “origin” of the music. Lin Meilong, a devoted fan of the song, has invested over 5 million yuan to build the tea song-themed museum with an area of nearly 1000 m2 in his hometown, Xianjulingxia Village of Taishun.

As a Chinese eco-health tourism destination, Taishun County leverages the advantages of the song to develop its "Sanbeixiang tea". With it designated as the tea for the Zhejiang Provincial Party Congress last year, its regional brand value rose to 1.914 billion yuan. Till the end of last year, the tea plantation areas in Taishun County had reached 90,000 mu, with a total output value of 1.2 billion yuan. Of this, 32,000 mu of tea gardens have obtained certificates for organic food, green food and pollution-free bases. In the county, the quality variety tea trees account for 75% of the total, and the output value of tea is one-third of that of agriculture, making the tea industry lead Taishun's ecological agriculture.

Though publicizing local culture featuring the birthplace of the dance song, Taishun County has advanced the integrated development of tea and tourism industries,with a tea museum and the Xishan Tea Song Greenway established. Additionally, four major music creation bases have settled in Dongxi. Thanks to the county's efforts, Taishun's tea-tourism route (Roofed Arch Bridge-Organic Sanbeixiang Tea Demonstration Gardens-She Nationality Town with special folk customs) was rated as one of the top ten superb agricultural sightseeing lines in Zhejiang Province. The Taishun County Tea Township and Red Tour Route was included in the 100 National-level Tourism lines of the same kind. (In China, the inclusion is regarded as an honour.) All this has contributed significantly to revitalizing Taishun's all-for-one tourism.

"On this special day, I donated a piano that my father Zhou Dafeng had used during his lifetime to the Tea-Picking Song Memorial Museum in Dongxi Township. I hope that more people will come to Taishun to taste the superb tea from green mountains prepared with limpid water , appreciate fascinating scenery, and help more people to get rich here." On May 11th, Zhou Xiaofeng, the son of the song composer, came to Dongxi Township to participate in his father's commemorative activities, and donated a piano to Taishun people on behalf of his family. Cherishing deep feelings for Zhou Dafeng, his relatives, friends, and even fans are zealous to donate Zhou 's relics to the county.

In the second year after Zhou Dafeng passed away, Lin Meilong, one of Zhou’s fans in Taishun, not only built a tea-picking song-themed museum but planted 93 Taishun camellia trees near the museum to remember Zhou's age. These years, the tea trees have grown well, with the tallest ones reaching over two meters, which attracted countless visitors. Moved by Lin's persistently cherishing the tea song, Zhou’s relatives donated over one thousand relics of the artist's to the folk museum Lin built. Today, this folk museum has become a must-visit attraction for many tourists coming to Taishun.

The memory of Mr. Zhou Dafeng will forever be enshrined in the hearts of the people of Taishun, and the melody of the tea-picking dance song will continue to reverberate throughout the mountains and waters of this region. The responsible authorities of Taishun County have expressed their commitment to further tap into the invaluable spiritual legacy left by Mr. Zhou, to publicize his contributions to Taishun and his tea song. They will expand the influence of Taishun as birthplace of the tea song by constructing a tea song town and village as well as establishing the brand of the provincial tea song conference. The authorities are to further the integrated development of the tea industry and cultural tourism by giving full play to the tea song.