Imperial China Today - The Hutong,
a Neighborhood Enclave
Beijing is quickly becoming a modern city at the expense of the old neighborhood enclaves known as Hutongs. Originally the Hutong may
have been a walled single family home surrounded by a courtyard. As space became scares and more family members moved in the courtyard
became smaller and smaller. The walls provided privacy and "kept out spirits" because they are unable to "turn corners." After the
Communist Revolution all land, but not necessarily the homes on it, became the property of the state. Thus the government frequently
moved nonfamily members into the homes when a family member died. The Hutongs are an integral part of Beijing life and create a
tangled town of narrow streets and alleys. unfortunately hundreds of these neighborhoods are being destroyed to build the 2008
Olympic and other modern living facilities. Our group visited the home of an aritist in a Hutong neighborhood.
Index to all China 2007 Adventures:
The following pages are still under construction
so be patient and come back to watch its growth.
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