Saturday, July 7, 2007

Friday Night Musical: 天安门和故宫, 在一次 (Tiananmen and the Forbidden City, Again)

The beauty here cannot be replaced,

and the Chinese understand.

On honoring the past through museums -
Americans honor by elevating an artifact's importance through glass walls. A wall of polyglass and laser security sensors makes something important.
Chinese have very few, if any, glass walls, and no security sensors. As I walked around the Forbidden City, I could only summarize the behaviors of tourists with this Chinese proverb:

"Tell me, I forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand."

The serenity of Beihai Park. Lakes on lakes, green on water.

We were slightly late for the flag ceremony, but no matter. For the five minutes that those soldiers took the flag down, the soldiers' faces said nothing but grave honor as they saluted to the falling flag. If their crisp marching, every person's step exactly 75 cm per step, is traditional dancing, it makes walking seem like contemporary expression.

Following the fall of the flag, Tiananmen and the monuments illuminated like a ride from Disneyland, complete with different colored lights. "Welcome to Beijing. There are no Fasttrak lines here - that would be unfair to your fellow citizen. However, enjoy your stay, and don't forget to take a picture of Mao!"

How can I resist Tiananmen while it looks like Christmas?

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

did you go to the starbucks in the forbidden city before it closes?

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