Memories to dust

Published on Author meleski14

I’ve read a lot about urbanization and migration and most of the material is mainly focused on farmers not wanting to leave their land because it isn’t fair and because they don’t know how to do anything else but farm. But what about other attachments they might have to not wanting to leave their farm?

As more forced urbanization continues to happen, more people are refusing to leave their farms, holding out against the government plans to move them into the cities so that they can take their land to redevelop it for urban use. The government takes away their water, schooling, and other important things so that the farmers have to move; but still some hold out. This is mostly because of their ties that they have to their land: their culture, religion, ancestry, and love for their land.

Traditional Chinese religion is about the land, which makes it even more difficult to get people to leave their land. “It’s not just the memories, but the gods who live there.”

However, I think it does have a lot to do with the memories. People who live in the same place for generations would have a lot of family history and memories there. It’s not easy to just leave those behind, only to be demolished and turned into something you don’t recognize. I can see how it could be a scary thought for farmers who grow not just crops, but family memories in these places. 13sino-urban2-blog480 This is a picture of a man that still refuses to leave his land, even as the construction continues around his single home.

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3 Responses to Memories to dust

  1. Attachment to land, while not particularly a part of Christianity or American culture, is a HUGE part of several other cultures. I am currently taking Professor Markowitz’s class on American Indian Ethnohistory. The first thing we learned in that class is the Native American obsession with their land and the importance of land and place in their cosmology. When they were forced to leave their homes during the Trail of Tears, etc, they were mostly infuriated due to their inability to respect the land in the way their religions called them to. Part of this was due the land holding the bodies of their deceased ancestors. Once again, we cannot truly understand the true significance of something like land in a culture to which we don’t belong.

  2. I have discussed attachment to land in my environmental classes, particularly environmental ethics class. Is it right for governments to make land grabs? Cultural attachment to land tends to be a bigger issue in older areas of the globe, for obvious reasons.

  3. Yeah, kinda like the movie Up. That a person’s personal land must sometimes need to be acquisitioned for the “greater good” is sometimes just the harsh reality. The founding fathers recognized the need for eminent domain with the fifth amendment to the constitution. While the situation in China is complex and some development may be inefficient, or greed-driven, that China’s cities must expand with migration means that rural land adjacent to cities will necessarily be repurposed. And in the PRC, no one really even owns his land anyway.