Vocab: 采风

While watching a couple of Chinese dramas recently, I noticed a recurring word that I couldn’t fully grasp…

采风 | cǎi fēng

It literally means: Collecting wind
à la collecting flowers or mushrooms or some such.

But when it shows up in TV shows, it’s used to describe when a character—usually the creative type—who intentionally goes to visit rural Chinese villages. Based on the plot lines, I gathered 采风 is some sort of trip meant for collecting inspiration. But why the countryside?

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