China News Service, Pu'er, Yunnan, December 12 (Xinhua) -- Returning college students from Jingmai Mountain, Pu'er, Yunnan Province: Protecting the world cultural heritage "at home".

Author: Huang Xinghong, Liu Yueqing

"The villagers do not apply medicine to the tea trees, but they must work together to maintain the ecological environment and pass on the natural resources of Jingmai Mountain from generation to generation." In early December, Yan Gongxiang, a Dai villager in Jingmai Village, Jingmai Mountain, told a reporter from China News Service.

Yan Gong lives in Jingmai Mountain, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Pu'er City, Yunnan Province, on the southwestern border of China. Since the 10th century AD, the ancestors of the Brown and Dai ethnic groups have migrated to the mountain to settle down, planting tea trees, and forming a relatively intact ancient tea garden of thousands of acres of cultivation. On September 2023, 9, China's "Pu'er Jingmaishan Ancient Tea Forest Cultural Landscape" was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List, becoming the world's first tea-themed world cultural heritage.

Born in 2000, Yan Gongxiang has been fond of Pu'er tea since he was a child, and has been proficient in processing technology since he was 15 years old. He introduced that in the process of making Pu'er tea, finishing and rolling are very testing the level of craftsmen, and the heat and strength need to be mastered properly. In this regard, he said that he is considered a leader.

The tea garden of Yangong Xiangjia covers an area of nearly 100 acres, with an annual output of about 2.5 tons of dry hair tea. In the past, when my father managed the family's tea business, he mainly provided raw materials for tea merchants. "But I want to do deep processing and build my own brand." He was admitted to Yunnan Institute of Technology and Commerce to learn relevant knowledge, and often went to tea markets around the country to "learn from experience" in his free time.

After returning to his hometown after graduating in 2021, Iwagong registered 2 trademarks and began to carefully manage his brand. He hopes to provide consumers with higher quality tea, constantly enrich product types, help villagers sell tea together, increase income together, and protect the "golden signboard" of Jingmai Mountain.

Today, more than 10 young people in the village have returned to their hometown to run a tea business after walking out of the mountains and learning a lot.

On December 12, Yan Gongxiang, a Dai villager in Jingmai Village, Jingmai Mountain (second from right), recommended his own tea to guests. Photo by China News Service reporter Huang Xinghong

Yan noticed that most of the tourists who came to the village were interested in ethnic costumes, and when the weather warmed up, he planned to wear traditional Dai costumes in hopes of attracting more buyers.

"Tea is in the forest, the village is in the tea forest, and people who grew up in Jingmai Mountain have a deep affection for tea in their hometown." Rock's Brown girlfriend will graduate from college next year. "When she comes back, we will develop live streaming and use e-commerce platforms to expand sales." He said.

On December 12, Sangda, a Brown villager in Mangjing Village, Jingmai Mountain, introduced the tea trees in the village to reporters. Photo by China News Service reporter Huang Xinghong

Sangda, a Brown villager from Mangjing Village in Jingmai Mountain, is 30 years old this year. After graduating from university, he worked in Kunming and Shenzhen, and chose to go home to start a business in 2017 because he was optimistic about the development prospects of Jingmaishan.

"Thanks to the elders for their care of Jingmai Mountain, they left such a valuable resource as Pu'er tea. As the people of Jingmai Mountain, we will continue to protect this green water and green mountains. Sanda admits that nearly 60 acres of tea plantations have brought him a lot of income, and his homestay is also expected to open by the end of this year.

Both Yan Gongxiang and Sanda said that in recent years, with the fame of Jingmai mountain tea, the lives of tea farmers have improved, and it has become a "trend" for local college students to return to their hometowns to start businesses. They welcome more tourists to come and taste authentic Pu'er tea and experience "there is a life called Yunnan". (ENDS)