With the aim of commemorating Taiping Rebellion leader Hong Xiuquan, the local government last year built a memorial hall in Hong’s hometown, Huadu District, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth. A permanent exhibition on Hong Xiuquan and the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom is part of a program to highlight the cultural heritage of Huadu District.
Hong Xiuquan (1814-1864) found the Association of God Worshippers and organized an anti-Manchurian revolution in 1843 after he failed the civil service examination several times. In January 1851 he declared the Taiping uprising in Jintian Village.
Erupting in the middle 19th century when China was just stepping into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement was a campaign by Chinese peasants to explore a path of saving the nation and its people. In its 18 years history, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom spread over more than half of the country, violently shattering the corrupt Manchurian dynasty, resisting invading foreign powers, and pushing forward the process of China's modernization. It was truly a splendid chapter in the history of modern China. Hong Xiuquan, the Heavenly King and the leader of the Taiping Movement, was among the first figures in modern China who tried to understand the outside world and to learn from the more advanced western countries.
(By Cassie Lin, Louis Berney)