A city which nurtures its traditions

Updated: 2016-02-19 08:46

By Mei Jia(China Daily)

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A city which nurtures its traditions

Xiong Qiang runs a teahouse in his family compound in the suburb of Chengdu.[Photo provided to China Daily]

On the seventh day of Lunar New Year, which fell on Sunday, residents of Chengdu gathered at Du Fu's Thatched Cottage in the city's Qingyang district to recite poems and celebrate.

The custom has been followed for decades, and Qing Dynasty writer Fu Chongju (1875-1917), a Chengdu native, recorded it in his book An Overview on Chengdu.

In a city where traditions are alive and valued, Xiong Qiang happily speaks about his family values passed down through generations.

"It's about being authentic and always having goodwill towards others," the 52-year-old owner of the mid-sized farmhouse resort says.

"My father, being a teacher, always tried to inculcate these values in his four children. They're deeply rooted in our minds," says Xiong.

Xiong and his wife, a teacher, manage their compound containing a teahouse and restaurant Mei Lu in the southeastern suburb's Sansheng Flower Town, and these are values they follow even today.

The flower town is known for its horticulture business, scenery, and numerous farmhouses that have been turned into resorts. They are representative of the city, which aims to develop its leisure economy.

"I'd rather tell customers in advance that we offer only a set menu and charge a little bit more, which might put them off, rather than offering low-quality food at a lower cost," he says, adding that customers often appreciate his being upfront and accept his way.

Xiong's 20-year-old son skipped university and is devoted to starting an IT business.

The father finally supported the son's decision after lots of contemplation.

"But I told him the same thing my father told me - be credible and be kind in all circumstances," he says.

Xiong says he believes that people are born nice and kind, even despite the years of pervasive mutual distrust during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).

"I don't resent anybody, and am always willing to help if necessary," he says.

It might be due to Xiong's family values, but his father, now 92, still enjoys life, which consists of two hours of computer games and two hours of reading daily.

As Xiong's wife says: "I'm really lucky to have a father-in-law like him. He's so easy-going, happy and kind and he even manages to turn his hospital stays into party time for the family."