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 Realize Beijing's Hutongs 认识北京的胡同

     1 认识北京的胡同
     A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing, where hutongs run into the several thousand. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming (1368-1628) and Qing (1644-1908) dynasties. In the prime of these dynasties the emperors, in order to establish supreme power for themselves, planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the Zhou Dynasty. The center of the city of Beijing was the royal palace-the Forbidden City.
     One kind of hutongs, usually referred to as the regular hutong, was near the palace to the east and west and arranged in orderly fashion along the streets. Most of the residents of these hutongs were imperial kinsmen and aristocrats. Another kind, the simple and crude hutong, was mostly located far to the north and south of the palace. The residents were merchants and other ordinary people.
     The main buildings in the hutong were almost all quadrangles--a building complex formed by four houses around a quadrangular courtyard. The quadrangles varied in size and design according to the social status of the residents. The big quadrangles of high- ranking officials and wealthy merchants were specially built with roof beams and pillars all beautifully carved and painted, each with a front yard and back yard. However, the ordinary people's quadrangles were simply built with small gates and low houses. Hutongs, in fact, are passageways formed by many closely arranged quadrangles of different sizes. The specially built quadrangles all face the south for better lighting; as a result, a lot of hutongs run from east to west. Between the big hutongs many small ones went north and south for convenient passage.
     Hutong represents an important culture element of Beijing city. Thanks to Beijing's long history and status as capital for six dynasties, almost every hutong has its anecdotes, and some are even associated with historic events.
     2 北京有名胡同的表达方式
     Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated with Beijing,
     China. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods.
     Sanmiao Street               三庙街
     Baidai Hutong                百代胡同
     Gongwangfu                 恭王府
     Bada Hutong                 八大胡同
     Dongjiaomin Xiang              东交民巷
     Lingjing Hutong               灵境胡同
     Baocha Hutong               宝钞胡同
     Erduoyan Hutong               耳朵眼胡同
     the Pulp Street               烟袋斜街
     Baozi Hutong                报子胡同
     Dongtiao Alley               东条胡同
     Big Stone Tiger Alley           大石虎胡同
     现在,北京胡同文化发展已经开发出了一项旅游新项目--蹿胡同。 来自四面八方的外国朋友乘坐北京古老的交通工具人力三轮车,经什刹海西沿,过银锭桥到鼓楼,登楼俯看北京旧城区和四通八达的胡同,然后前往后海地区,参观京城古老的南北官房胡同、大小金狮胡同、前后井胡同。走进普通的四合院,和北京人聊一聊,了解普通北京人的生活,最后沿柳荫街到有"红楼大观园"之称的恭王府,体验旧时王公贵族的居住环境和御花园。

     The majority of Beijing's hutongs were built between the 13th and 19th centuries during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
     According to experts, the word hutong originated from mongolian language meaning"well".
     So the original meaning of Hutong should be"a place where people gather and live."
     Hutong first appeared in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty.
     With the growth of the population, many old Hutongs have disappeared to make way for high-rise apartments.
     Most of today's Hutong were formed during the Ming and Qing Dynasties that followed.
     Nobody knows exactly how many Hutongs there are in nowadays Beijing.
     Or to make it clear, it could build a highway from Seattle to Boston, all across America.
     Today you can find various Hutongs with different shapes, lengths or directions.
     The shortest one is only 40 centimeters wide.
     And some Hutongs have more than 20 turns.
     As we walk through the Hutongs, you may find most of them look almost the same with gray-colored walls and bricks.
     Actually inside those walls are the courtyard houses, where people live. In Chinese we call them "siheyuan".
     "Si"literally means four,"he"means to surround,and"yuan"refers to the courtyard.
     So a rectangular wall enclosing four houses, one built on each side facing into the center,is called a Siheyuan.
     When they were first built, usually one Siheyuan was owned by only one family, but nowadays, with the growth of the population, most Siheyuans are shared by 4 to 10 families.
     Hutongs are the countless little alleyways that connect the courtyards of traditional houses.
     The hutongs not only link Beijing's streets and communities but also its past and present.
     Hutongs are still an integral part of Beijing life.
     Or wander down Rongxian-the longest hutong at 2 km or squeeze through Qianshe-the narrowest at only 40 cm wide!
     As they offer the travelers a rare glimpse into China's fascinating past.
     Even houses tucked away in very small lanes have their own courtyards and trees.
     Investigation showed that the Stone Tiger Alley where Cao Xueqin lived was in Xidan, called Small Stone Tiger Alley.
     No.33 Small Stone Tiger Alley in Xidan was the Right Wing Zongxuefu (school), where Cao Xueqin once worked before he went to the West Mountains to write his book.
     Conditions improved a great deal and many of the original hutongs were renovated and preserved.
     And it is not surprising that tourists are fascinated by the hutongs.
     "Siheyuan" style residences and the "hutongs" that linked them were unique to old Beijing.
     The Hutongs are the old traditional areas of Beijing. They are really fascinating.
     Hutongs are something like lanes where very traditional Chinese houses can be seen.
     Beijing's hutongs are particularly famous however, as there are literally thousands of them.
     Generation after generation of children spent their childhood in the hutongs of old Beijing, playing with unique folk toys.
     In old times, transportation was not as convenient as today, so street vendors played a very important role in Hutong life.
     They wandered from lane to lane selling various goods or providing all kind of services.
     The main attraction of Hutong life is friendly and interpersonal communication.
     Children living in one courtyard play together and grow up together like one big family.

     Susan:Hi Sue, what are you doing this afternoon?
     Cathy:Nothing. I've got nothing planned. Why?
     Susan:I thought it would be a good idea to take a trip around the Hutongs.
     Cathy:That's a great idea! I have always wanted to do that.
     Susan:Well, we can take a guided tour this afternoon if you'd like.
     Cathy:That sounds good.
     Susan:The Hutongs are the old traditional areas of Beijing.They are really fascinating.

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