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ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperChina / NewsmakerHot IssuesGovernmentSocietyInnovationEducationCover StoryPeoplePhotosCarved melons prove a hit for rural fruit sellerBy Qi Xin in Zhengzhou and Chen Liang in Beijing (China Daily) Updated:2016-09-09 08:40Comments Print Mail Large Medium Small 
Gu Xinliang shows watermelons he carved with his thumbnails on a country road near his home in Jiaxian county, Henan province. Li Kongxun / For China DailyIn the summer, watermelon peddlers can be spotted along many of North Chinas country roads, but few sell their fruit in the same way as a teacher in Pingdingshan citys Jiaxian county, Henan province.Gu Xinliang carves Chinese characters into the rind of his home grown watermelons before selling them to passers-by. His novel idea has helped the 56-year-old teacher from Heimiao village sell 3,000 kg of water-melons in 13 days.”I want people to be happy while enjoying my watermelons in the summer,” said Gu, as three buyers watched him carve the character for “fu” (“happiness”) into a water-melon using only his thumb-nails.Gu, a Chinese-language teacher at a primary school in the county, gets up at 6 am every summer morning to harvest watermelons, load them onto a truck and sell them by the side of the road near his home.He hit upon the idea of carving his watermelons on July 20, when trade was poor and he needed kill some time. He never expected his creations to attract so many customers – the melons on his truck were almost sold out when he went home at 9 pm that day.”The rind of a big water-melon looks like a black-board in a classroom to me, on which I can express my thoughts,” he said.Gu prefers to carve traditional Chinese “blessing words” into his watermelons.The most common characters he uses are the ones for “fu” (“happiness”), “shou” (“longevity”) and “long” (“dragon”) and he always carves using his thumbnails.At first, he would spend nearly 20 minutes carving a character, but several days later it took him less than 10 minutes and he could carve about a dozen watermelons in one day.In addition to the 3,000 kg of watermelons he sold, Gu also sold out of another 1,000 kg of muskmelons, which fetch two or three times the price.A man, surnamed Wang, said he stopped to see the carved watermelons, and liked them so much that he decided to buy one to take it home. “Many buyers have asked me to carve blessing characters they choose themselves,” Gu said.”They have also suggested that I use tools like knives because my nails were get-ting hurt by the frequent carving, but knives are too sharp for watermelons – I like to carve using the strength of my own nails.”Gu doesnt charge any more for his carved water-melons than he would for an ordinary one.”It is just a joy to see peoples smiles when they take the watermelons away,” he said, adding that many people tip him for his artwork.Calligraphy has been a passion for Gu for many years. In the past, he would offer to write couplets for villagers during the Spring Festival, he said. “I have three grandchildren,” he said. “By next summer, I will have a fourth and I feel happy. I want to share this happiness with the people who pass by.”0PhotoNight views of Harbin through the lensTibetans take train home after pilgrimage or travellingWorlds largest shaftless Ferris wheel built in ChinaAncient cities to be connected by Xian-Chengdu high-speed railwaySnow turns Harbin into winter wonderlandReed Catkin Festival held in WuhanSocietyPoliticsHot TopicsScience/TechBusinessCover StoryFTZ simplifies process to launch businessesJapan can offer experience, expat saysApplication for work streamlinedAwareness of law aids resolutionAir Force units explore new airspaceLow wages and lack of respect responsible for kindergarten abuse, experts sayLiu heralds UK partnership in education and researchAgency ensuring natural gas supplyUN envoys trip to DPRK praised by BeijingChina moves to secure natural gas supply amid rising winter demandXi asks China, Canada to work for substantial tiesCooperation necessary for success, leaders sayLiving in space: How astronauts train, eat and workTeachers excused for lunchtime drinksWaiting for Shenzhou XICancer agent found in 44 cities drinking waterAt Ikea eatery, its no pay, no stayChina lose 2-0 to Uzbekistan in World Cup qualifier, coach Gao resignsC919 gains another 55 orders, lifting total orders to 785Services offset dip in manufacturingFintech to energize real economy, cut risksChinas Long March rockets complete 60 commercial launchesEngineers achieve breakthroughChina-made components add securityOnline shopping rings up customer complaintsImport expo to focus on advanced techSME mobile market platform receives first clientsChina top importer of US soybeansAir China opens direct route from Beijing to BarcelonaInsurance-based trust launchedDandelion helping to sow the seeds of stability for membersCover storyVisa change may boost tourism to USThe wrong side of the roadBuilding ban begins to biteVillagers call on Japan to atone for massacreMost ViewedTodays Top News129 telefraud suspects sent to mainlandUnified work permit for foreigners on wayZika unlikely to spread on mainland, officials sayExchange rates shaping travel plansMental compensation stipulated in miscarriages of justiceCenter set up in Hainan to study fishermens guidebooksBeijing setting up G20s first center to aid corruption fightGovernment to improve weak linksScientists developing multipurpose stratospheric airshipsAction plan aims to reduce new disability cases over next 5 yearsState Council NewsPremier Li in Laos for East Asia meetings and official visitState Council issues national action plan for disability preventionNew birth brings hope. 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