Hainan Diary: Chinese writers visited ancient Luoyi Village

By Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 17:34,27-May-2021

On April 24th, the Hainan Diary project officially kicked off, bringing well-known Chinese writers and scholars to experience the history and culture around Hainan Island.

Famous writer Ye Zhaoyan and scholar Liu Daxian visited Luoyi Village in Laocheng Town, Chengmai County on April 25. "My first purpose in participating in this project is to get into the life story of the literary giant Su Dongpo in Hainan," said Ye Zhaoyan.

Ye Zhaoyan (right) and Liu Daxian (left) visited Luoyi Village. (Zhong Yuanyuan)

Luoyi Village was a courier station for document delivery, changing horses, and official accommodation located on the west coast of the island in ancient times. During the Northern Song Dynasty, the literary giant Su Dongpo (Also known as Su Shi) was exiled to Qiongzhou, as Hainan Island was once known, and Laocheng Town in Chengmai County was the first station he visited on the island as well as the last station he visited when he left after three years. A volcanic courier road through the paddies where Su Dongpo once passed still exists, and is called "Dongpo Road" by the locals.

Ye Zhaoyan bent down to stroke the stone pathway on his walk along "Dongpo Road", wondering what Su Dongpo was thinking when he was exiled here long ago.

Ye Zhaoyan had his photo taken along the stone pathway in Luoyi Village. (Zhong Yuanyuan)

Seeing the ancient volcanic stone houses in front of them, Ye Zhaoyan and Liu Daxian felt that it is lucky for this village to preserve such precious cultural heritage instead of being overly exploited.

They two were attracted by characters engraved on a stone container used to collect water: "As ever-lasting as the sun, as ever-rising as the moon", a line of verse from the "Classic of Poetry", the first anthology of Chinese poetry. "This is an ancient village with a deep, profound culture where many details reveal the wisdom of their ancestors," they said.


Liu Daxian (right) learned about the verse engraved on the stone container. (Zhong Yuanyuan)

The most representative ancient building in Luoyi village is the Li Ancestral Temple, which recorded the history of the ancestors of the Li family. This family promoted education and knowledge among locals since the Southern Song Dynasty, cultivating quite a few cultural celebrities over the last 600 years.

In addition to being a historic, ancient cultural village, Luoyi Village is also known as "longevity village" as it is home to many elderly people aged 90 even 100. The village also has refreshing, beautiful scenery.

Ye Zhaoyan spoke with Liu Daxian about cultural protection in Luoyi Village, expressing hopes that the village will continue to retain its historic and cultural heritage as well as pass on the story of Su Dongpo in the future.

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