By CCTV.com Panview editor team
Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.
As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.
The film, Meizhou Island, directed by Joey Dalla Beta, features an island located in southeast Fujian Province, where the islanders stand devoted to the Mazu goddess. The word “Mei” means eyebrows in Chinese, and the Island takes the name because it is shaped just like an eyebrow.
It is estimated that more than 300 million people across the world worship Mazu religion, which holds striking similarities to Taoism, praying with incense sticks, along with temples that resemble Buddhist sanctuaries.
The villagers are mainly poor and need hope and prayer to capture more success.
Many fishermen work hard on iron boats, frequently taking 2-3 treks out at sea. The hardships would explain why so many young people have departed from the island to find better jobs in China’s mega cities.
Most farmers are elderly gentlemen, who are unable to find good jobs, since they have limited education backgrounds, one confessed on camera that he and many of his companions are nearly illiterate.
Nevertheless, they have not lost hope in the Mazu god. Villagers told the tale that at a typhoon struck when some were on boats at sea around 2002 or 2003.
They pulled out their Mazu materials to pray and soon afterwards, they were floating in calm waters in a 50 sq./m. area while the typhoon roared on but stopped an hour later.
That’s why the islanders love to say, “Without Mazu, we have nothing.”
( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )
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