Mass culture blooms in Hohhot

2016-10-10 (chinadaily.com.cn)

Hohhot in Inner Mongolia autonomous region has undergone a cultural renaissance in recent years thanks to the efforts of the city's government to develop the local cultural industry and support the region's cultural life.

A panoply of different cultural activities ranging from elegant classical music concerts to popular folk dances can now be found all over the city and the surrounding countryside. 

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Children watch a traditional show at a temple fair in the countryside near Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. In this rare art form,a performer tells a story through song, while pulling a rope to reveal different illustrations depicting the action. [Photo/hhhtnews.com]

The banners and counties of Hohhot have launched their own cultural festivals celebrating their local culture, while many projects to enrich people's lives and promote the city's heritage have been initiated, including the Zhaojun Culture Festival and the stage play The Legend of Marco Polo.

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Hohhot residents learn traditional Chinese paper cutting, a traditional craft recognized in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage lists, at a popular folk culture festival at Jinxing Rural Resort in Daqing Mountains, which was held on Aug 5-15, 2016. [Photo/hhhtnews.com]

This recent flourishing of the arts owes much to the support the Hohhot authorities have given to the city's cultural life. Officials have placed increasing focus on the social development of the region in recent years in addition to economic and technological development, establishing a number of local cultural facilities such as libraries and recreation centers as well as pumping more funds into local television networks.

Meanwhile, Hohhot has attempted to position itself as a culture and innovation hub in North China, drawing on its unique heritage, such as traditional Mongolian culture and Zhaojun culture, the tradition surrounding the ancient imperial concubine Wang Zhaojun, who became a symbol of peace between the Han and the Mongols by volunteering to marry the Xiongnu tribal chief Chanyu.

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Actors and actresses perform the drama Zhaojun at the opening ceremony of the 17th Zhaojun Culture Festival on July 8. The play tells the life of Wang Zhaojun, known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.[Photo/hhhtnews.com]

These efforts to promote local culture have also helped to develop related industries such as IT services, games, tourism and education. As of the end of 2015, the added value of these industries amounted to 9.3 billion yuan ($1.39 billion), accounting for three percent of Hohhot's GDP. 

More companies and individuals are now engaging in the culture industry with the support of the local government. As of September 2015, there were some 2,100 companies in this field.