Rural Idyll versus Prosperity

Stephanie Wong

Urban vs Rural [Depicted by Karen Yuen]

Try to imagine the scene with a group of kids running around merrily on grassland and compare it with another scene with trucks, mining machinery and mining explosions. Suppose you were to choose to live in a countryside , but in only few seconds it became a trash land. If you were to face such drastic change, would you still go for prosperity?

Prosperity brings wealth, power, modernity to a society. Living in well developed city like Hong Kong, we basked in great prosperity and enjoy high technology. However, have you ever thought of how much destruction to the environment the prosperity has brought?

A remote and deprived village, Yunhe, sits atop a major iron ore deposit on Taer Mountain. Villagers had been living happily and peacefully in a rural idyll until People’s Liberation Army marched on Taer Mountain and discovered iron ore in the 1950s. Since then, the destiny of Yunhe has been forever changed. Mining really did bring prosperity to Yunhe: villagers started to use machinery to do the farm work; broadband internet was available; free education was offered; elderly farmers gained access to medical insurance and retirement benefits. Over the years, villagers have enjoyed great prosperity. The development of Yunhe seemed to be perfectly smooth. In fact, there were hidden repercussions which were ignored for years. Now, the problems become inevitable and the villagers can escape no more. It’s about time for them to wake up from the dream and confront the reality. Not only have the mining business profoundly changed the environment of the village, overexploitation of natural resources also caused disaster to their village. In only one night, villagers lost their beloved ones and homes. The government has already decided to stop all mining work in Yunhe and it will soon return to a small village. However, can the village get back to its original outlook? We are not sure about it.

No matter which option you go for, rural idyll or prosperity, there must be disadvantages for each of them. For rural idyll, the atmosphere is relaxing and peaceful, yet technology and economic development is deprived. For prosperity, the environment is hectic and noisy, yet it is well developed. Nothing is perfect and we have to think twice before making a choice. We always have to pay a price for something we have chosen.








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