April - June 2013
LONGSHENG DRAGON SCALES
He became a symbol of life, fertility and prosperity. By the Far East rulers he was considered the embodiment of God. He gradually mastered the whole world. Rice - cultivated for 6500 years - already then became the main food for the inhabitants of today's China. Currently, it is the basic component of daily food for more than half of the world's population, and the number of its species is counted in thousands. However, 90% of its crops are in Asia, most in China. Rice has become synonymous with food here. In Chinese, the word "eat" translates as "eat rice", the word "food" is "Chinese rice" and "restaurant" is "rice shop". He also became synonymous with prosperity and satiety. In a Chinese house, rice is served not only at the beginning of the feast, but also at its end, when all the revelers are already full. The intact final portion testifies to the fact that all revelers have already satisfied their appetite.
Rice fields are an inseparable element of the landscape of modern China, especially in the Yangtze River basin. Usually extensive, often occupying the plains to the horizon. However, they can also be found in mountainous areas. The most famous are those located in the south of the country in the Longsheng Autonomous District 龙胜 梯田 - Dragon's Back Rice Terraces. They are about 500 years old. Their painstaking construction was started by local villagers during the Yuan dynasty and completed during the Qing dynasty. Terraces with rice plots cover steep slopes, the slope of which sometimes exceeds 45 °. The highest part of the rice terraces reaches 800 m a.s.l. covering the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Looking from this height at the rice terraces extending below, you can admire the plots of Longsheng rice terraces shimmering like scales of a writhing dragon.
The "Chinese Odyssey" series:
1. Lijiang - The Jewel of Yunnan
2. Treasures of Xi’an
3. Beijing - Non-Forbidden City
4. Yangtze gorges
5. Longsheng dragon scales