Xinhua Silk Road: Cultural inheritance helps intangible cultural heritage-based economy thrive in Zaozhuang, east China

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BEIJING, Nov. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Shizhong District, a city district in Zaozhuang of east China’s Shandong Province, is reaping explicit benefits from local intangible cultural heritage (ICH)-based economy thanks to its great efforts in the ICH inheritance and development.

Currently, there are as many as 3,600-plus stores that sell characteristic ICH-related products in the district, earning in total around 1.558 billion yuan of revenues per year and helping the district lift more than 120 local households out of poverty.

To well preserve, develop, improve and innovate ICH, Shizhong District made in recent years great efforts to establish ICH protection programs and expand the ICH inheritors to maintain the fundamental for reviving local ICH.

With 135 ICH programs and 41 ICH inheritors at present, the district has organized local ICH products businesses and inheritors to take part in various sales promotion activities including tourism products competitions, exhibitions, and shopping festivals in different places of China.

Other marketing activities for ICH products to enter schools, scenic areas, residential communities and the rural areas and investment promotion activities as well have also been arranged by the district to improve popularity of local ICH products.

Zhang Yong, a 42-year-old inheritor of walnut sculpture, actively participated in the ICH promotion activities at communities, schools, and etc. to beat drum for the traditional technique and has recruited a dozen of apprentices to learn walnut sculpture now.

With walnut shells carved as lifelike cicadas, lotus flowers, peaches, and gourds in Zhang’s studio, ICH represented by walnut sculpture is regaining vitality in Shizhong District of Zaozhuang City.

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