Renaming a village in Suzhou after novelist Feng Menglong, which has helped revive cultural activities in the village, is just one example of what reforms can do to China’s cultural landscape
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) novelist Feng Menglong is believed to have been born in a village in Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province known for producing many litterateurs and famous scholars throughout China’s history.
Although before it was renamed Fengmenglong Village in 2014, even the village residents didn’t feel any connection with Feng who captured in detail the lives of grassroots people, the ancient novelist continues to benefit his “fellow-villagers” centuries later.
“We feel proud because many people know our village due to Feng Menglong,” said Qian Jun, a village resident. The common pastime of the villagers used to be playing mahjong, she recalled. “But we have many more choices now, which I think is more culturally fulfilling.”
“A dramatic change has…