• Short Summary

    CANTON IS A GREAT COMMERCIAL METROPOLIS IN THE SOUTH OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.?

  • Description

    CANTON IS A GREAT COMMERCIAL METROPOLIS IN THE SOUTH OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. IT IS THE CAPITAL OF KWANGTUNG PROVINCE AND HAS A POPULATION OF ABOUT TWO MILLION PEOPLE. IT LIES LARGELY ON THE NORTH BANK OF THE PEARL RIVER IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE DELTA OF THE HIS RIVER. THE WHOLE DELTA COVERS 2,9000 SQUARE MILES AND IS ONE OF THE MOST CROWDED AREAS OF CHINA, CONTAINING ABOUT TEN MILLION PEOPLE.

    IN COMMON WITH OTHER SOUTH CHINA PORTS CANTON HAS LONG BEEN A CENTRE OF OVERSEAS EMIGRATION TO SOUTHEAST ASIA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. THIS HAS CARRIED A CANTONESE VERSION OF CHINESE CULTURE ABROAD INCLUDING CANTONESE FOODS AND RESTAURANTS, HANDICRAFTS AND DIALECTS. THE CANTONESE DIALECT IS BELIEVED TO BE MUCH CLOSER TO THE SPOKEN LANGUAGE OF ANTIQUITY BEFORE THE STRONG INFLUENCES OF LATER PEOPLES IN NORTH CHINA.

    RESIDENTS OF CANTON TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR CITY'S PROGRESSIVENESS IN PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT. BEGINNING IN 1919 A GREAT PROGRAMME OF STREET WIDENING, PULLING DOWN OF CITY WALLS, TRANSFERRING OF OLD GRAVES, CREATION OF PUBLIC PARKS AND PLEASANT WATERFRONT, BUILDING A BRIDGE ACROSS THE PEARL RIVER AND DREDGING THE HARBOUR WERE ALL UNDERTAKEN ENTIRELY THROUGH LOCAL INITIATIVE.

    THE CANTONESE DELTA IS A MAZE OF STREAMS AND CANALS BETWEEN SMALL RICE PADDIES CONSTANTLY BEING EXPANDED AND DOTTED WITH ISOLATED HILLS THAT WERE ONCE COASTAL ISLANDS. A 12-MONTH GROWING SEASON PERMITS TWO RICE CROPS AND OFTEN A THIRD DRY CROP EACH YEAR.

    SYNOPSIS
    THIS IS CANTON, A GREAT COMMERCIAL CENTRE IN ONE OF SOUTHERN CHINA'S MOST CROWDED AREAS. ITS TWO MILLION RESIDENTS TAKE A PRIDE IN THE APPEARANCE OF THEIR CITY. THE VISITOR IS IMMEDIATELY IMPRESSED WITH THE CLEANLINESS AND THE ORDERLINESS OF ITS WIDE TREE-LINED AVENUES. THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS, OFFICIALS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS HELP TO CLEAN THE STREETS ON EVERY SUNDAY AND PUBLIC HOLIDAY. EVEN THE MAYOR LENDS A HAND.

    MOST OF THE CITY'S GREAT POSTER DISPLAYS ARE CONFINED TO THE PARKS AND PUBLIC BUILDING, SOME OF THEM CALL ON THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD TO UNITE, OTHERS DENOUNCE THE AMERICAN PRESENCE IN VIETNAM.

    THE MORNING SCENE ON PEARL BRIDGE AS PEOPLE CERISE THE RIVER TO WORK OR TO STUDY IN CANTON. MANY WEAR THE TRADITIONAL CHINESE LOOSE TUNICS AND TROUSERS THAT COST BETWEEN THIRTEEN AND TWENTY POUNDS IN THE SHOPS. THE AVERAGE WORKER'S WAGE IS SAID TO BE ABOUT TEN POUNDS A MONTH.

    AT A TYPICAL SUBURBAN MARKET THE PRODUCE IS LAID OUT ON IMPROVISED TABLES AND IN BASKETS. ALL THE USUAL CHINESE VEGETABLES ARE ON SALE NEXT TO A GREAT VARIETY OF THE OFTEN UNUSUAL INGREDIENTS USED IN CANTONESE COOKING.

    PURCHASES MAY BE CHECKED FOR CORRECT WEIGHT BY AN INDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT WEIGHER WHO SETS UP HIS EQUIPMENT OUTSIDE THE MARKET ENTRANCE.

    A PEOPLE'S COMMUNE NORTH OF CANTON HAS SOME 7,500 ACRES OF LAND UNDER CULTIVATION. WHEN FIRST ESTABLISHED IN 1958 IT CONSISTED OF 39,000 PEOPLE. NOW, WITH FOUR-THOUSAND EXTRA MOUTHS TO FEED, THE COMMUNE TRIES TO BE AS SELF-SUPPORTING AS POSSIBLE.

    IRRIGATING THE LAND, SOMETIMES BY MECHANISATION, OFTEN IN A PRIMITIVE WAY. ABOUT EIGHTY PER CENT OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE WORK ON THE LAND, USUALLY WITH THE SIMPLEST POSSIBLE TOOLS.

    TOIL IN THE RICE FIELDS - A CLASSIC PICTURE OF OLD CHINA THAT HASN'T CHANGED. THE COMMUNE ALSO GROWS VEGETABLES, SUGAR-CANE, PEANUTS AND FRUIT AND KEEPS PIGS, POULTRY AND COWS. MOST FAMILIES ARE ABLE TO SUPPLY THEIR OWN SUPPLEMENTARY FOOD REQUIREMENTS IN ADDITION TO THE THREE MEALS OF RICE A DAY THEY OBTAIN FROM THESE FIELDS. SALES OF THE COMMUNE'S PRODUCE, MAINLY TO CANTON, PAYS THE PRODUCTION COSTS AND THE WAGES AND HELPS TO IMPROVE LIVING CONDITIONS.

    NEW TREES ARE PLANTED BY THE STUDENTS WHO LIVE IN THE COMMUNE' 28 VILLAGES. THERE ARE 26 PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND THREE SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR OVER 11,000 PUPILS. MANY OTHERS GO TO UNIVERSITIES AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES IN CANTON AND OTHER CITIES. THE COMMUNE ALSO RUNS ITS OWN HOSPITAL AND NINETEEN CLINICS.

    THE CANTONESE TAKE TO THE PARKS AND GARDENS ON SUNDAYS, THE ONLY DAY OF REST. IT IS A PUBLIC HOLIDAY FOR ALL EXCEPT WORKERS ON THE ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND THOSE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO DO EXTRA VOLUNTARY LABOUR IN THE FIELDS AND FACTORIES.

    CHILDREN ARE ASKED TO JOIN THE YOUTH LEAGUE. THEY CAN BE RECOGNISED BY THE RED KERCHIEFS WORN ROUND THEIR NECKS. AS THEY FILE THROUGH THE STREETS SINGING PARTY SONGS. A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN AIMS TO HELP THE NEW GENERATION UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF THE REVOLUTION.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8TR2GOUC1XNODRI2CYOCFGU0A
    Media URN:
    VLVA8TR2GOUC1XNODRI2CYOCFGU0A
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/05/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:04:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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