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Peoples Daily Online | Updated:2016-11-25 09:27The ruins of a historic underground chamber in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province are covered by coins and banknotes thrown by well-wishing tourists. Though at first glance uncontroversial, the behavior of those tourists has received a mixed reaction from the public.
The underground chamber – which, according to legend, is where the mythological White Lady Snake was imprisoned – is located at the base of Leifeng Pagoda. Though the site has adopted measures to curb coin-throwing in the past, such as installing protective glass fences or prohibiting the act altogether, tourists continue to throw coins and small bills when they visit the site.
“We can hardly stop the airborne coin donations. Our best shot [at doing so] is to put up more signs reminding tourists not to throw money, but even that doesn’t help much. Every year we collect coins worth over 20,000 RMB,” an employee of the site told Chinanews.cn, adding that sometimes they have to gather the coins on a weekly basis.
“From the viewpoint of folklore, Chinese believe the coin donations will bring good fortune and blessings. Though the practice is understandable, it can easily damage the cultural relics, and should be stopped,” said Zhong Xiangping, vice director of the Hangzhou History Association.
Coin-throwing has already taken its toll on some cultural sites. A 200-year-old stone tablet in Beijing was left riddled with marks made by flying coins, Beijing News reported in 2015.
Meanwhile, the donation controversy for the underground chamber has garnered over 140,000 page views under the hashtag “RuinTurnsIntoCoinMountain,” with many criticizing the behavior as “uncivilized and ignorant.”
“Tourists have already damaged cultural relics by throwing coins at them. Coin donation is merely a superstitious practice and should be banned at the sites,” wrote one Sina Weibo user.
Others took a decidedly lighter view of the issue.
“The sites can collect the money and use it for renovations. You can hire me to collect those coins – I see no reason why you guys keep complaining about it,” wrote another commenter.PhotoCandid camera: Campus photoshootYamdrok Lake – best spot for stargazing in TibetA glimpse into how workers brave freezing coldSchool for maternity matrons banking on baby boomFirst snow of season blankets many parts of ChinaNew home, new scenery: Giant pandas first winter in NE ChinaLatestHangzhou cultural site covered by coins and banknotes, seeks to stop airborne donationsEx-official pleads guilty to briberyCandid camera: Campus photoshootCPR call exposes need for first aidDelegates endorse plans calling for actionState Council NewsSpeech by Premier Li Keqiang At Opening Ceremony of 9th Global Conference on Health PromotionPremier Li’s trip to ShanghaiExclusiveThe long shadow of school bullyingWorlds Toilet Day: Lifting the lid on the toiletRound-up of the monthlong space tripEditors picksSchool for maternity matrons banking on baby boomTiny magnet-controlled device improving diagnosis processTen photos you dont wanna missTen photos from around China: Nov 11-17SpecialSixth plenum of 18th CPC Central CommitteeShenzhou XI: New frontiers, new milestoneBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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