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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 02:02 
Grand Poobah

Joined: 26 Nov 2016, 04:55
Posts: 1112
A key value of passing down a culture by word of mouth is that it takes on so many differentforms in the process, reflecting changes in people's mentality and social reality.

Now an online database, the result of the Chinese Folk Artists Association's Chinese OralLiterature Digitalization Project, gives fans of Chinese traditional culture a chance to observethe evolution.

Type in the name of a folk legend, for example, and all relatedversions will pop up for your reference. Users can do this with 11genres of oral literature, including myths, riddles and folk songs.

In the 1950s, 1980s and early 2000s, the association organizedthree massive searches for Chinese oral literature nationwide.

More than 2 million professionals - many of them veteran librariansand scholars who have devoted most of their life observing andrecording the country's disappearing traditions - have been sent tomore than 2,800 counties to seek out the hidden gems of China'srich folk culture.

In addition to an exciting number of folk tales, folk music andproverbs , the records also include the backgrounds of thenarrators, the people recording the story and information abouthow the content was found and recorded. It is a pity that most ofthese rare materials did not have a chance to be published.

Feng Jicai, one of the best known Chinese writers and nowchairman of the folk artists association , has dedicated years todiscovering and preserving the country's folk culture. In 2010, to make its collections accessibleto the general public, Feng initiated the Chinese Oral Literature Digitalization Project.

All the written materials are uploaded on an online database , where they are carefullycategorized by region, subject matter and so on to be easily accessible by the public.

Feng Jicai talks about the project the fruit:webpage of the Chinese Oral Literature Digitalization Project

Now home to 4,905 books of oral literature records , comprising more than 800 million words,the database will serve as a free library for anyone interested in exploring China's literaryheritage.

Feng says the database is like a modern counterpart of Siku Quanshu (Emperor's FourTreasuries), a complete library in four branch .

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