|A woman poses for a photo with flower-shaped steamed buns, also called huabobo, a well-known traditional pastry with decorative patterns in Wendeng District of Weihai City, East China's Shandong Province. [China Women's News]|
Flower-shaped steamed buns, also called huabobo, is a local traditional pastry with decorative patterns in East China's Shandong Province. It was listed as one of the provincial-level intangible cultural heritage representatives in Shandong in 2009. Thanks to the wisdom and deft hands of local rural women, huabobo industry is now a woman-dominated specialty industry in Wendeng District, Weihai City, in Shandong.
Under the guidance of Wendeng Women's Federation, over 10,000 women have increased their incomes through making huabobo, which has created an annual output value of more than 200 million yuan (US $30.6 million). It has helped lift more than 4,000 impoverished families out of poverty. In 2020, Wendeng was given the title of the "hometown of huabobo in Shandong Province."
|A woman worker makes huabobo themed with longevity. [China Women's News]|
At present, there are more than 200 women's workshops engaged in making huabobo and upstream and downstream supporting enterprises in Wendeng, providing employment opportunities for nearly 20,000 people.
"It's easy to learn the basic skills of making huabobo. Nearly all the women in Wendeng can make it. However, it's not easy to industrialize the huabobo production and help the locals earn money through their skills of making huabobo," said Liu Fang, secretary of the leading Party members' group and president of the Wendeng Women's Federation.
The federation has given full play to its advantages and made efforts to cultivate women role models and women's entrepreneurship bases, in a bid to help upgrade the huabobo industry. Now, skilled rural women are the main force of the local huabobo enterprises.
|A woman shows huabobo themed blessing of safe and sound. [China Women's News]|
In 2018, Wendeng established its huabobo association which took the lead in developing industrial standards and product quality certification, organizing relevant competitions and cultivating talents. In 2020, the district government included the development of huabobo industry into the district's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025).
The federation has spared no effort in cooperating with many social circles to upgrade the huabobo industry and taking multiple measures, including guiding women through relevant policies and providing financial support and skills training, to help local women get rid of poverty and live better lives through making huabobo.
|Some women workers make a big huabobo together. [China Women's News]|
Wang Ru'e, a worker at a food company in Mishan Town of Wendeng, said, "I can earn 100 yuan (US $15.3) a day through making huabobo at my doorstep. During the peak periods in production, the company can employ more than 60 rural women nearby … It also helped build a women's huabobo workshop in a village in Mishan. More than 10 women in the village are able to earn money at their doorsteps."
|A woman decorates a big huabobo with animal patterns. [China Women's News]|
Since 2015, the federation has organized more than 300 customized skills and e-commerce training courses for rural women annually according to their needs. More than 10,000 women have received high-quality skills training from professional lecturers at their doorsteps.
Liu noted that the federation will continue to strengthen the building of the women's federations at grassroots level, improve the quality of staff members of the women's federations, and instruct the grassroots women's federations to guide and serve women to contribute to the upgrading of the huabobo industry and the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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