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Farmers in need of more books and films

[ 2009-04-07 14:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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Rural households in China spent an average of just 139.3 yuan ($20.30) on entertainment last year, People's Daily overseas edition reported.

Ministry of Agriculture statistics show each household spent an average of 348 yuan ($50.90) on cultural-related services in 2008. But only 208.7 yuan ($30.50) of this money was spent on their children's education.

This means rural households spent the remaining money on items like books or films for their personal entertainment.

This represents an increase of just 2 yuan on the 2007 data and the newspaper blamed the economic downturn.

In contrast, spending on entertainment in 2007 grew by 25.6 yuan from the year before.

"My major entertainment is watching TV, and sometimes folk art performances," Ma Yichang, a farmer from Jiangzhuang village in Shandong province, told China Daily.

"I did not buy a single book, or watch a movie last year."

In Xichen village of Henan province only a few people have access to newspapers and magazines and the internet is beyond the reach of most villagers. "There is no place to buy a newspaper here," a villager in his 50s said.

The man said he paid 5 yuan and traveled 25 km by bus to another town simply to buy his grandson a reference book.

Neither village has a library or other cultural facilities.

The lack of cultural services in rural areas has presented opportunities for some businesses, including Books-on-the-go, which sells truck-loads of books to people in rural areas.

A few provinces and cities, including Yunnan and Shaanxi provinces and Taiyuan and Shenyang cities, have allocated funds to build libraries and other cultural centers.


1. Based on Ministry of Agriculture statistics, how much did households spend on their children’s education in 2008?

2. A man from Xichen village in Henan province traveled 25 km to buy what?

3. What is the name of the business that sells books to people in rural areas?


1. 208.7 yuan ($30.50).

2. A reference book for his grandson.

3. Books-on-the-go.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Farmers in need of more books and films

About the broadcaster:

Farmers in need of more books and films

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.