After our visit to Hehu
New Dwelling, we wanted to see an inhabited Hakka house. We went to
Dawan Dwelling, in nearby Pingshan, described thus in
Hakka Enclosed Houses:
Located at Dawan village in Pingshan Town
and built in 1791, Dawan Dwelling is the ancestral house of the Zengs in
Pingshan. It faces west and occupies an area of 15,000 square
meters. The houses are set out in neat order and the courtyard is strewn
at random. A winding path connects one house with another house.
The exterior wall is high and thick with a strong function for defense.
As one of our Chinese friends (known only
to me as "Miss Goldfish," though some say it should be Goodfish)
discovered, the people we were seeing were not Hakka at all. The Hakka had
moved out of the frankly derelict village into modern digs nearby; the people
living there were non-Hakka Han squatters. Still, despite the poverty,
lack of amenities, and manifestly poor hygiene of the place, I had a chance to
play with some kids, their parents laughing and egging them on. The people
were generally friendly, showing the smiles universally traded in the absence of
a common language.
Outside the village we encountered a few
"genuine Hakka," mostly well on in years. The old ladies seated
in the pictures below were lively talkers, though I couldn't understand a
word. They were truly charming in their enthusiasm!
Shenzhen Daily (September 30, 2005) published an article
with pictures about the plan to create a museum and "theme park" in
Float your cursor over these pictures
for a description; click on them to see larger versions.
The Main Gate
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