In a country like China, where everyday life is complex, busy, and often crowded, order creates harmony. It enables Chinese life to work smoothly. Orderliness can be seen in the cleanliness of the streets, the hygiene applied to food preparation and the behaviour of the Chinese people. The ancient principles of Confucianism, a system of norms and propriety that determine how a person should act in everyday life, underlies many aspects of Chinese society, with later overlays of buddhism, daoism, communism and capitalism. Below: some sketches of everyday life in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
Living statues usually busk alone. These partners work together in Well Alley, Chengdu. Well Alley is near Narrow and Wide Lane, an historic tourist precinct in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
For Daily Post prompt, <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/partners/”>Partners</a>
We were travelling by car around Sichuan province with some friends from Chengdu, China. Shú song (树松), a dedicated foodie, and Tia, her anglicised name, found the best places to eat at dinnertime.
They both took a week off work to accompany us on the road trip of a lifetime, visiting the more remote regions of Sichuan, and travelling through wild and overgrown passes in Éméi shān (Mt Emei ). Towards the end of the journey we stayed in the ancient city of Langzhong, where we shared the most remarkable meals.
Shú song would have private chats with the chef at our Tang Dynasty Hotel, or go hunting around the town in search of good river fish, and bring them back to the chef to cook.
Dinner time was always a special occasion in Sichuan with these two friends. It was a little more difficult sourcing a wine to go with the meal. Beer and spirits are readily available throughout China. But things are slowly changing as the Chinese become more interested in wine production.
Imagine three large museum halls set in a 24 acre manicured park dedicated to a poet from more than 1200 years ago. The Chinese love their Tang Dynasty poets, especially Du Fu. Du Fu’s thatched cottage, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, is located in the Du Fu Cao Tang Park along with other museum halls displaying panels of his most famous poems, exhibitions of ancient stylised calligraphy, and a sculpture hall for the other major poets of that era.Du Fu enthusiasts from around the world come to pay their respects, the locals to enjoy reading the famous poems they learnt as youngsters at school, or to appreciate and try to translate these ancient stylised characters and letters. A visit, including the magnificent gardens and lake, takes at least half a day.
The Tang dynasty (7th and 8th centuries) is generally regarded as the Golden Age of Chinese Culture, and might be compared to the Renaissance cultural awakening in Europe.
The art of writing characters and letters is given prominence in schools in China, despite the presence of the ubiquitous iPad or tablet. Calligraphy tables are set up with paper, ink and brushes in the hotels in Chengdu, for all to have a go.
This post is dedicated to letters, to the Chinese art of calligraphy, and to Du Fu, Tang dynasty poet. Thanks Ailsa for this week’s travel prompt.
Du Fu 春望
The country is broken, though hills and rivers remain,
In the city in spring, grass and trees are thick.
Moved by the moment, a flower’s splashed with tears,
Mourning parting, a bird startles the heart.
The beacon fires have joined for three months now,
Family letters are worth ten thousand pieces.
I scratch my head, its white hairs growing thinner,
And barely able now to hold a hairpin.
Chengdu, Sichuan Provence, China. Inter- connecting bamboo steaming baskets tempt those wandering by. Narrow and Wide Lanes are two pedestrian only areas in central Chengdu, famous for bars, restaurants and small courtyards.
Cute animals and babies immediately come to mind when considering this week’s travel theme topic, Endearing, nominated by Ailsa, of Where’s My Backpack. How cute and endearing are Pandas!
A visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (Xiongmao Jidi) in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China is an enjoyable day out. The pandas have acres of bamboo forest to enjoy, the nursery pandas are kept separately, and there is a birthing section, complete with all the paraphernalia of a maternity hospital.
The park itself is huge, with large promenades of bamboo forests, a large lake and an excellent restaurant where you, like the pandas, can enjoy a plate of bamboo, pickled and steamed. Like everything else in China, the park and facilities are spotlessly clean and a pleasure to visit.
The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, No.1375 Xiongmao Avenue, Outside Northern Third Ring Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu 610081, China.
After an enforced absence from posting due to internet censorship in China, with no access to Google, Gmail or WordPress, I re-visit my blog tentatively, my brain now wonderfully word slow but over stimulated with image and colour.
This week, Ailsa, from Where’s My Backpack, has chosen World Cups as the travel theme. With all the tea in China, beautiful cups are never far from sight.
The cups above graciously decorate a Tea House in Chengdu, Szechuan Province, China. The cups below wait for the return of Mao in a well preserved Tang dynsasty courtyard house in Langzhong, an ancient city in the north of Szechuan. Mao visited this particular courtyard house on the Long March. Mao memorabilia is now quite scarce in capitalistic China.