Day 6: A Day of Exploration and Investigation
It's an amazing experience to learn of someone's life story, to walk in their shoes, to live their life. You can never fully comprehend the nuances and complexities of another human's mind. Nevertheless, it's still a very valuable experience. Today I spoke to my first local contact, Mr. Duan, a textile artist that sells embroidery and fabric within the local market. My meeting with her was extremely helpful, as I learned many new things and made many new discoveries. As a part of my work in Phase 3, I interviewed Ms. Duan with the guidance of Ms. Mai, Mr. Chen, and Ms. Braverman. It was so interesting to hear all about her story, long life lessons, and hopes/dreams. I was planning on speaking to her about the role she plays in the textile industry, but as the conversation progressed, I learned much more than I could've ever asked for. She spoke of her hardships and struggles throughout the life she had grown up in. To read a more thorough summary of my interview with Mr. Duan, click here (My thorough summary will be posted before the date of November 25th.) In addition to providing helpful information, Ms. Duan also showed me chemically made and handmade textiles. It truly was remarkable to see how our world has evolved from handmade artwork to a work where everything is overlooked by machinery. Ms. Duan went into detail on how her shop and industry is being affected by the constant competition that is putting her life in danger. Even with the minimal profit she is earning, Ms. Duan has been taught to rely on both the tourists and locals to purchase the many textiles from her little corner shop. I have learned so much history today from a reliable primary source and contact, I hope to visit Ms. Duan again! Overall, today was a great day, and I cannot wait until tomorrow where I will explore another village to meet the famous Mr. Wang. I have heard and research so much about this amazing bamboo artist, and wish to uncover the secrets and history that he knows about his long life passion, bamboo basket weaving.