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The Folk Finder

Shanghai Daily News , September 22, 2004


It takes a special person to devote himself to the preservation of folk songs and stories of China At 72, Xu Shaohua has spent two decades dedicated to the collection of such songs and stories to ensure they're not lost to history.

With love and passion Xu began to collect folk songs in 1987. At that time, he was living in Shanghai where he organized and performed Yangzhou Opera shows at a small local theater.

His work was encouraged by the Ministry of Culture, which established the "Three Collections" project, with the aim of reviving folk art by collecting folk songs, folk stories and adages around the country.

Xu began a storytelling section in the theater he usually performed, where people could come and share their folk songs and stories - and they came in droves.

In just five months, Xu collected over 160 folk songs and more than 100 stories which were compiled for the book, "China Folk Literature Collection - Shanghai Chapter." Reading these scores and verses is like traveling down a time tunnel.

Subjects Covered: education

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