There is a Kind of Happiness Called Haikou
   2013-12-17 14:42:24      Web Editor: Luo Chun

The beach road in the sunset in Haikou. [Photo:]

Haikou people: The happiness always lives in our heart.

There were three questions that lingered in our mind while we were in Haikou: Why is the air here so fresh? Why are the people here so carefree? Why have poets and writers chosen to stay here?

An old saying in Haikou answers all three questions for us.

It goes like this: Hainan is the blessed place where people can easily get food when they wake up in the morning.

Locals have a deep love and respect for Mother Nature, looking upon their surroundings as a parent offering nourishment and protection. The admiration and deep connection with nature is imbedded in the Haikou lifestyle. While many pursue happiness, people in Haikou believe that happiness is already in our hearts, we just have to realize it.

Liu Mingsong: WanLuYuan Park Offers Great Recreational Environment

Wan Lu Yuan park is the most famous park in Haikou. Developed on land repurposed for public use, the park first opened in 1996. Liu Mingsong works at the park and is an alumnus of the South China College of Tropical Crops. He told me that Wan Lu Yuan Park holds a special place in the heart of Haikou for two reasons.

First, thousands of people had a hand in creating the park, as donations for its development were given by local residents and those from other cities. Second, from conception to completion, city residents were given the opportunity to discuss design proposals and construction with the government and urban planners. While it took considerably more time to finish than other parks, Wan Lu Yuan is cemented in the minds of local residents and is an important fixture in Haikou's landscape because it was, in essence, created by the people, for the people.

In 2004, Liu Mingsong was promoted to be the director of the administrative office at Wan Lu Yuan Park. Although he is an expert, this job is still a challenge for him. Since Wan Lu Yuan Park is like a baby of Haikou people, some citizens always come back to look after their own trees, Liu Mingsong's work is under the supervision of the citizens in Haikou. In Haikou people's heart, WanLuYuan Park is not only a normal park, it more like a place where people planted their hopes and expectations.

In 2004, Liu Mingsong was promoted to director of administrative office at Wan Lu Yuan Park. Even with his experience and background, the job poses a challenge for him. The park's importance to Haikou's residents makes Liu beholden to the wants of locals regarding Wan Lu Yuan. However, Liu has just as much admiration for the park as the citizens who tend to the trees they've personally planted here. Wan Lu Yan Park is not simply a local park; it's a place where residents have laid the seeds of their love for Haikou in its soil, hoping that they bear a bright future for the place that they call home.

Wan Lu Yuan Park is located in Haikou's Finance and Trade Zone. Some people worry that the park will be another casualty in China's push for rapid economic development. However, the Haikou government has formulated and promulgated protection and management regulations to ensure that Wan Lu Yuan Park stays in Haikou's plans for the future. These regulations make Wan Lu Yuan Park the second open park in China that is protected by local legislation.

With their efforts, Wan Lu Yuan Park can continue to provide Haikou's residents with beautiful scenery and fresh air for generations to come.

Meng Xiaolin: I should make contributions to inherit and develop Hainan Culture

In 1994, a Hainan TV journalist donated 200 yuan to the development fund of Wan Lu Yuan Park. At the time, 200 yean was a month's salary. That journalist is Meng Xiaolin.

Meng was one of three journalists dubbed "the three musketeers" in local media for their extensive coverage of foreign-funded enterprises in Hainan. Around 2009, Meng Xiaolin joined the ranks of those he reported on for so long when he founded his company, WeiSi Marketing Communication Company. Meng said that he watched other people contribute to this city; now it was his turn to make an impact in Haikou.

As a journalist, Meng Xiolin had a front-row seat to the evolution of Hainan. He said that, while Hainan has a lot of potential, it is just now starting to realize what kind of identity it will project to the world. Meng adds that islands like Phuket in Thailand and Bali in Java have their own unique features; Hainan is still on a path of discovery regarding its own specific identity. What Meng and his company are trying to do is help develop the cultural appeal of the island. Specifically, he wants to recreate real-life experiences for visitors in the island's famous arcade-style houses. The hybrid architectural style that marries the island's aesthetic with Southeast Asian and European influences, brought in by the island's returning sea-farers over the years, is the kind of thing that Meng believes will help usher in Hainan's entrance to the world stage. Additionally, he adds that this work is his "Chinese dream."

Li Bo: 'Animals' are sacred.

The last Saturday in June of this year marked Wan Lu Yuan Park's 25th bird-lovers' week. Volunteers taught children how to identify different species of birds. At the same time, Ma Yuan, a university student from Hainan Normal University, spoke about mistreatment of feathered animals. He criticized the use of chains to restrain parrots, saying that they were a harmful burden on the birds. Ma Yuan is a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Hainan. Li Bo is the adviser of the aforementioned group. As an environmentalist, he has helped save more than 500 wild animals; his actions have earned him several nicknames, like the national environmentalist and animals' Schindler. However, prefers his self-created moniker, 'Animal Li Bo.'

In China's traditional culture, the word 'animal' carries a negative connotation, but Li Bo sees it differently. He wants to use this special and controversial name to tell people to help save wild animals and protect the environment. In his book, Li Bo said that China's "Catering Culture" needs to change immediately in order to protect wild animals.

Modernity has taken its toll environmentally. For example, human waste used to double as fertilizer for farmers. While the introduction of plumbing and western toilets have improved sanitary conditions, Li Bo says two resources are wasted, excrement for fertilizer and clean water. The environmentalist added that, although people's environmental awareness has increased, the environment is being damaged faster than we know.

Li Bo is a man that practices what he preaches. Although he is a famous person, his living conditions are very simple.

His opinions of matters of the environment and animal conservation hold weight with people. Many want to know why he spends so much personal time and resources in helping animals. Li Bo gives a very simple answer: Kindness toward animals is respect for life; this shows the extent of our civility and humanity.

In Haikou, regardless of age or personality, people always like to say 'it does not matter' in their daily lives. Most of Haikou people are kind, generous and open-minded. They respect and trust nature; they are kind to others; they have good hearts. Just like the poetry wrote by HaiZi:

Give a warm name for every river and every mountain.

Strangers, I will also give you my well-wishing.

May you have a brilliant future.

May you lovers eventually become spouse.

May you enjoy happiness in this earthly world.

I only wish to face the sea, with spring flowers blossoming.

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