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Floral ornaments crowning attraction of fishing village

By CHEN NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-27

3.jpegWeng Xiuzhen (left) receives a foreign customer. [CHINA DAILY]

Oyster house

Huang's mother, Weng Xiuzhen, 61, whose hair has remained black and luxuriant, lives in a house made of oyster shells, an eye-catching building in the village that attracts tourists. Oyster shell houses are resistant to water penetration and woodworm damage. The villagers favor them as a building material as they are warm in winter and cool in summer.

"My mother helps out at the center," Huang said. "She still wears the traditional clothes and zanhua on her head.

"She cannot speak Mandarin and only speaks the Hokkien dialect. When the tourists thank her for doing the zanhua head decoration, she always smiles back. She is also a star of the village because many tourists take photos with her."

Most of Huang's customers are young women who travel from different parts of the country to experience the village's unique culture. When Huang's business first opened, only about 20 people visited. But things changed dramatically in 2022 thanks to celebrities who visited the village and posted photos of themselves on social media wearing the floral headdress.

Actress Zhao Liying visited Xunpu and appeared in a Chinese magazine in a red traditional dress and wearing flamboyant head ornaments. With over 90 million followers on her social media account on Sina Weibo, Zhao also appeared in a video sharing her experiences in Xunpu. Captivated by the stunning images, visitors flocked to the village.

With more than 57 million followers on his Sina Weibo platform, pop star Xue Zhiqian also put on a zanhua when he performed in Quanzhou last September.

"After Zhao and some other celebrities came to our village, more and more tourists have come here to experience the traditional culture of Xunpu, especially zanhua," Huang said. "We have been fully booked and now there are over 200 businesses offering services to dress tourists with a zanhua."

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