Beijing, Mr. Song’s Apartment


Name: Song Zhaolin

Age: 75 years old (born in 1936)

Chinese zodiac sign: Rat

Education: Master’s degree in Archeology at Peking University


Profession: Mr. Song is a retired curator of the National Museum of China. After his retirement he continued his scientific work as an archeologist. He writes books, attends academic conferences and is often involved in the verification of the authenticity of ancients artifacts. His specialty is the history and heritage of the many minority cultures in China.


When you are at home, what is your favorite activity? What do you enjoy the most?

Studying cultural relics.


Name three of your daily routine activities:

I get up very early every day, usually before 6 am. Then I start sorting out books, read newspapers and start writing.


What is your favorite food?

I prefer light food. Especially the food of the Guangdong-Chaozhou-Shantou region. It is very delicate food and I consider it the best in the world. Confucius once said: “eat no rice but the finest quality, nor meat unless it’s finely minced”.


How much money does your family spend on food per day?

Since I am retired I give all pension and all my salaries to my wife for the daily expenses, so I am not sure about how much money the family spends on food. I’m often invited to verify cultural and historical relics. Depending on the amount of time needed and the difficulty I earn at most 5,000 RMB each time. All this money I spend on my collection of historical relics and artifacts.


Where is your hometown? (if not Beijing: do you miss your hometown? if so, what do you miss most?)

My hometown is Liaoyang City, near Shenyang. I miss my hometown often. I had a great childhood there. The climate and the environment were different from today. I used to go fishing and hunting with friends near a river or in the mountains.  It sometimes hurts to think about those “golden” days, because everything has changed.


What is your most precious childhood memory?

Everything that happened in my childhood is a precious memory because it cannot be like that anymore.


What are the three most important things in life for you?

Stay healthy. Without a good health you cannot do anything, even if you are rich.

Do the things I like. I don’t like travelling anymore because when I was young, I travelled a lot for research and for work. Now I like to tell people about my experiences and the stories that come with it.

Keep my own personality. Don’t follow the bad examples of other people.


What are, according to you, the values that one needs to live up to in life?

People take things from society and should therefore also contribute to society! Therefore I donated many collections to the National Museum and I will donate all of my other collections in the coming years.


Would you say you are a) happy  b) somewhat happy  c) somewhat unhappy  d) unhappy

I would say I’m happy. I succeeded in my career, published many books and I have a biography. I’ve visited almost every part of China and learned a lot. I could not study science because I am a bit color blind, but I never had regrets over choosing archeology as an alternative.


What do you expect will the future bring for you?

Finish all the books I planned to write and leave new generations with enough information to study.


What is your religion?

No religion.






Video of the 360 degree panoramic photo
(click full screen icon for best view)
the below video is on Vimeo; banned in China

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