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China: By Journalists Eyes XII: To See The Yellow River

Published: 4.8.2012
Our bus goes on the perfectly smooth highway, where we ones a time meet some man in a hat, with a scarf over his face and a broom in his hand - he is alone, far from him you can´t see anything of civilization, the high mountains on both sides, and he sweeps the shoulder.

So far Chinese unemployment can touch...We're heading into the foothills of the Kun Lun visit "sample" local elementary school. Before that, but the mountainous valley reveals a breathtaking view of the "Mother of Rivers" - the Yellow River.

I try to remember a geography lesson and an exotic name of Chuang Che, where we broke the language. Now I'm standing on the rest place and with the humility watching the stream surrounded by mist that for local people has always been sacred, but also cursed. I do not know exactly how many miles to the Yellow River that rolls slowly in front of us on the map, which I took with me, but I read it covers nearly 5 and a half thousand kilometres.

We are in the province of Qinghai, where Chuang Che starts - spring under a mountain of Jagr Dagze but we can´t see - it is at an altitude of 4800 meters, where we froze its equipment and probably would have won us the local winds. It does not matter. Sure I enjoy the view of the yellow-brown water, take off my sandals and go in to the river. It's June and the water is pleasantly cool. Fingers taps into small stones and clay mud, which give its colour to the river. In the amount of silt that come with abducting Chuang Che, clearly holds the world's primate. It is a mean of 36 pounds of material per cubic meter. For the year the river is incredible moves and a half billion tons of various materials.

With reverence feeling and devotion I am standing in the waters of the river, which boasts the nickname "Cradle of Chinese civilization". After Qinghai flowing through nine other Chinese provinces, is the source of livelihood for hundreds of millions people. It can give generously, but also cruelly takes. Life at the shores of the Yellow River carries a guarantee of drinking water, fertile soil, fish and energy resources. Just but a slight rain and in places where the silt piled begins disaster. The floods of the Mother of Rivers are historically extremely bloodthirsty. The peaceful flow often turns into a killer. The Chinese even used her force during the Second World War, when broke the dam and flooded the Japanese enemy camp. The water took 900 thousand lives.

How powerful element we have the honour to see other numbers show: over the past 3000 years has changed the direction of its Yellow River flow twenty-six. Dikes, that the inhabitants have always been built of its basin ruptured 1500 times. Catastrophic floods with many millions lost live river have showed seven times. Chinese but continued to cultivate their rice and wheat fields in the fertile banks of the Huang He, his cattle graze on green meadows, mountain slopes, feeding on fishing in the river deltas, the new building and new, higher and higher dikes and pray to their gods to protect them before the disaster. Although in the local part of the flow is not clear, the Yellow River and its basin is one of the most densely populated regions in the world.

To memory I get few yellow stones from the river - I will give it to my closest friends to happiness - and are emerging into the bus. Timeout expired and our tour guides are uncompromising. Schoolchildren wait, the delay is unacceptable. Up to the next adventure.

Text/foto: Andrea Fantová



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