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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

China July 2013 Part 1

Outside the Box – d’Amileau Baulk

This is part one of a series of posts we will present over the next few months as we prepare for the Renascence School International’s trip to China 2013: A Family Adventure. 

Today will be brief notes on Beijing.

Yes we are still several months away, but we are getting excited thinking of the culture, food, history and of course the wonderful geography we will see on our trip. Beijing will be one of many stops that will offer amazing history, which includes the Forbidden City, Beijing Opera, and of course for the shoppers among us the Hongqiao Market (Pearl Market).

To think, our children will be able to walk through the Forbidden City, built in the 15th century by the third Ming emperor YongLe. Construction of this architectural wonder took 14 years and estimates of over a million workers. There is so much history in just this one site that we cannot add it all here, but mention it as an example of areas to reflect on with your family. Here is a fun fact for you to look up. How many of the five elemental colors were used in the construction of the city?

The Beijing Opera is a unique and centuries old city icon. Stories of national and historic importance have played with particular grace and tradition by the numerous acting troupes. Unfortunately, with the political changes that have occurred over the last several decades what had been a long lasting art form is now flirting with obsolescence. In 1978, traditional plays were reintroduced but have had to compete with modern entertainment of today. Aided by the loss of interest by the youth of today for the historical theatrical traditions, we may see the end of a truly unique art form. Another piece of trivia to look for is the name of the traditional costumes.

Of course the Hongqiao Market is a well known trading post, with every shopper’s needs. They are known for their pearls that are displayed in mounds upon the many vendor tables. In days past, a fish market resided in the basement, but no longer. However on a good day, the air can still carry remnants of times gone by. The market gathers people from all walks of life and is a must see when visiting this ancient city.

We invite readers that have visited this amazing city to share their thoughts and experiences of this amazing ancient city.

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