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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008


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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' “China Internship” summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

Week One:
Orientation in Los Angeles. Fly to Beijing. Begin Mandarin classes. Trek and camp along a remote section of the Great Wall. Visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, historic hutong neighborhoods and Olympic sites. Meet with development workers and business professionals and learn about the implications that China’s economic growth has for China, the US, and the world. Sample local delicacies such as Beijing duck and Mongolian hotpot. Visit cutting-edge art galleries and attend cultural events such as acrobatics performances and Beijing Opera.

Weeks Two-Three:
Fly to Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province. Settle into home-stays with Chinese families. Begin internships with local businesses, NGOs, or schools. Spend approximately 3-5 hours per day—5 days per week—working with local mentors as you gain real-life work experience in China. Continue with Mandarin study. Option for intensive, one-on-one language sessions with course instructors and local mentors. Lessons with course instructors and guest lecturers in traditional arts, Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi), kung fu, Traditional Chinese Medicine, philosophical influences on Chinese culture, politics and national identity, and conceptions of mindfulness, energy and health. Introduction to regional minority cultures and on-going discussion of China’s development and emergence as a global power. Weekend outings and excursions with home-stay families.

Week Four:
Rural home-stays, travel and trekking. Overnight bus to Qiaotou. Spend two days hiking along the Yangtze River through the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge. Arrive in Longwangbian, a tiny Hui minority village at the base of the 18,000-foot Haba Snow Mountain. Live with local farming families in their homes. Lessons and discussions on ethnic minority cultures and issues, development issues and rural Chinese life. Opportunities to collaborate with local villagers on a service project and help with the seasonal harvest.

Weeks Five-Six:
Return to Kunming. Continue with home-stays, internships, Mandarin study and lessons with course instructors and guest lecturers. Final banquet and end-of-program celebration.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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China Internship: Sample Itinerary

Dragons Administration,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ “China Internship” summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings […]

Posted On

10/15/08

Author

Dragons Administration

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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' "China: A Comprehensive Survey" summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

Week One:
Orientation in L.A. Fly to Beijing: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven. Begin study of Mandarin Chinese. Hike and camp along a remote section of the Great Wall. Wander through traditional hutong neighborhoods and speed though modern subways. Marvel at the Beijing acrobats; discuss the legacy of the nomads from the steppe lands with traditional Mongolian BBQ; feast on Beijing Duck; begin survey of political history; meet with academics, business executives and advocates for labor and minority groups. Discuss China’s rapid economic growth and related development issues. Train to Xian: Terra-cotta Warriors; ponder over ancient history and the unification of China in 221 BC, ideas of national identity, philosophy and systems of government. Decide on Independent Study Project topics.

Week Two:
Train to Chengdu: Visit China’s foremost Panda Breeding Center; discuss land-use and conservation issues; lessons on Sichuan cooking; Sichuan opera and cultural show; explore Chinese artistic traditions and teahouse culture. Visit Buddhist and Daoist temples and learn about Chinese philosophy and religion. Possible opportunity to visit communities devastated by the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake and collaborate with a local NGO on an earthquake-relief service project. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Three:
Rugged travel in northwest Yunnan Province. Examine traditional architecture and construction; witness the conflict between rural development issues and tourism. Meet with representatives from The Nature Conservancy and learn about environmental stresses based on development and consumption. Introduction to Naxi culture and discussion of ethnic minority issues. Trek or bike amongst Naxi minority villages and enjoy home-stays with local families. Possible opportunities to teach English at a local primary school or orphanage, or work on a village-based service project. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Four:
Kunming: Urban home-stay with local Chinese families. Visit local NGOs and survey development work in China. Intensive work on Independent Study Projects. Daily language lessons, cultural presentations and seminars at the Dragons Program House. Explore Traditional Chinese Medicine and massage, instruction in Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi), calligraphy, painting, and traditional Chinese music.

Week Five:
Train and bus to Guangxi and/or Guizhou, provinces that remain dramatically underdeveloped and rich in minority culture. Possible activities include: rural home-stays with ethnic minority families in a remote village seldom visited by travelers, village-to-village trekking or biking, a service project addressing issues such as environmental conservation and resource use, teaching English at a local primary school or orphanage, opportunities to learn about rice farming and sweet potato cultivation while laboring alongside local people in the fields. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Six:
Spend a few days exploring the dramatic landscape of Yangshuo, Guangxi. Float down the Yulong River on a bamboo raft; bike through picturesque villages and rice paddies; hike to the top of the stunning Moon Hill; visit the night market and sample local delicacies such as fried silkworms and barbecued rat—if you dare! Train to Hong Kong. Introduction to the cultural, political and economic differences of China's Cantonese-speaking people; the Chinese Diaspora; the history of Imperialism and Colonialism, as manifested in the Opium Wars; and China's reluctant opening to the West. Discussion on "One Country-Two Systems"; explore the British legacy by visiting Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbor and the famous Star Ferry; press through the crowds at the Temple Street Night Markets and in hi-tech Mongkok; be overwhelmed at the unbridled conspicuous consumption that makes Hong Kong property the most expensive in the world. Wrap up Mandarin study and present on Independent Study Projects.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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China Comprehensive: Sample Itinerary

Dragons Administration,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ "China: A Comprehensive Survey" summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for additional […]

Posted On

10/15/08

Author

Dragons Administration

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Dear China B Parents and Friends,

The China B students left Hong Kong this morning and are on their way back to the US. Their flight left on time and Andrew is escorting them back to LA. Thank you all so much for sharing their sons and daughters will us this summer!

Be Well,

Katie

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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On Their Way Home

Katie Hagel,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

Dear China B Parents and Friends, The China B students left Hong Kong this morning and are on their way back to the US. Their flight left on time and Andrew is escorting them back to LA. Thank you all so much for sharing their sons and daughters will us this summer! Be Well, Katie

Posted On

08/8/08

Author

Katie Hagel

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A FAREWELL TO A FRIEND

With a blue line of mountains north of the wall,

And east of the city a white curve of water,

Here you must leave me and drift away

Like a loosened water-plant hundreds of miles....

I shall think of you in a floating cloud;

So in the sunset think of me.

...We wave our hands to say good-bye,

And my horse is neighing again and again.

Li Bai

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Farewell to a Friend

Raymond Ang,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

A FAREWELL TO A FRIEND With a blue line of mountains north of the wall, And east of the city a white curve of water, Here you must leave me and drift away Like a loosened water-plant hundreds of miles…. I shall think of you in a floating cloud; So in the sunset think of […]

Posted On

08/8/08

Author

Raymond Ang

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July 28, 2008

trek

so the trek was all i was hoping for and more, if perhaps too short!

this is a poetic narrative, rather than blow for blow.

village homestay:
in a barn, above a water buffalo and a pig next to the hay.
rest day, walking through corn fields trimmed by sunflowers (go new world crops), looking at butterflies and plant nerding. they have salvias and roses and skunk cabbages here too, all local style. watching storms blow across the lake at 2800m.
local kids on makeshift teeter totters, others playing with hypodermic needles, injecting minnors with water and watching the water spurt out the fishes mouth. lovely.
our host farmer li: next to no mandarin, great food.
we helped his yearly income!
trek up a steep grade. hot. rest in a sheep herders meadow, surrounded by flowers.
slog through muddy muddy trails, shoes sloppy. walking stick my friend.
eight hours from the start, we reach our saddle and see jade dragon snow mountain, at 5,500 m, 18,000 feet tall, ahead of us.
descend through mud down to a goergeous meadow, flowers of every color all around in drifts, the snow fringed mountain dominating. a perfect day.
students find the night's lodging in a gusthouse in little village of wenhai. a naxi village. all they grow there is potatoes, although dahlias, a south american import, grow too. folks are getting poorer.
the next day set out in the shadow of the jade dragon through another meadow, watching horses and sheep graze from afar. tromp through streams, play baseball with rocks and walking stick. their is nothing better than timelessness in a meadow.
students and instructors set out on a solo hike down into the next village as weather rolls in. in village, students again find lodging with two families. brothers live next to brothers here, and wives come from nearby villages we've aleady walked through. this group, the yi, used to be a slave holding society that would kidnap neighboring tribal groups. they stick to themselves, relegated to the worst soil and the steepest slopes. we eat potatoes and rice for dinner and the next breakfast. their son, in middle school, must live at school during the week in a town three hours away, and his tuition dominates the family's meager income.
after the rains let up, wearing my chinese knockoff germany jersey, i play soccer and basketball in the mud with locals, the mountain spectating at the west end. our team wins five in a row before they give the other team five to our four. then we play basketball, and this american giant is soundly routed.
the next day we set out down down down, ending up in a corn and tobacco. farmers here are better off again, at least a little, of the same naxi people as farmer li in the beginning. two brothers and grandpa make 14,000 RMB a year, about $2,000 USD, of which 6,000RMB goes to pay tuition for two boys. but still, they live together, stick together, and lack not for what to do each day.
it's hard to say if we are happier with tough college decisions and families spread all over continents. that said, their son is fascinated with the NBA, and images of our culture and how we live reach way up into these mountains. no answers from me here.
this night with the tobacco growers is our last night on the trek; grandpa and others smoke tobacco through a bong, and he has a wicked cough at 75.
the following morning, we hike down down down to the still young yangtze river, there called the river of golden sands. we throw our walking sticks into the muddy flow as we cross a rickety suspension bridge, soon to be picked up in a bus by the other, non-trekking half of our group.
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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Trek

Chris Nutter,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

July 28, 2008 trek so the trek was all i was hoping for and more, if perhaps too short! this is a poetic narrative, rather than blow for blow. village homestay:in a barn, above a water buffalo and a pig next to the hay.rest day, walking through corn fields trimmed by sunflowers (go new world […]

Posted On

08/2/08

Author

Chris Nutter

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what did america eat like before all of our food was wrapped in plastic and bought in stores? when our food was all locally grown? before television and the food processing industry and moden life replaced our traditional american ways of life? i really don't know, but i have an idea of this way of life, in recession, here in southwest china.

what about wealth? are health and traditional culture and natural beauty and community another form of wealth? do these things lose their value when tourists come through with our flashing cameras and when TV beams in images of the good life in cities, shining hair shampoo, cars clothes?

these questions dominated my thinking during the four nights our group spent in the middle sixth village in guangxi province, site of the famous rice terraces that are cut like stairs into the hillsides. the scenery was gorgeous and the way of life compelling, but it quickly became the backdrop for the human drama at play at the intersection of mass culture and isolated cultures.

middle six village was a two hour walk along flagstone paved, winding, steep walkways to a road, and had only had electricity for three years. a road is under construction, to be finished in a year or two. at either end of the footpath, where the roads end, tourism is developing rapidly as the village in the center looks on. tourist come to see the stunning rice terraces and the local minority cultures that have lived there for centuries, the yao.

fleeing wars seven hundred years ago, the yao fled from shandong province near beijing thousands of miles away to southwestern guangxi province. there, on steep marginalized land, they dug their terraces and laid their stone paths. the older women their grow their hair long and wear it in buns and stretch out their ear lobes with heavy silver and copper earrings.

our group had gone to their village in an effort to both observe village life as well as do our service learning project. we planned on picking up the garbage that littered the town of a few hundred as try to educate the villagers on how their trash disposal. they had no plan as a town to deal with the waste a junk food diet produces, as in the past then were used to throwing egg shells or corn cows into the rain gutters lining the stone pathways and letting it decompose there.

plastic litter from junk food packages was scattered all over the town like a rash. it turns out that nearly all of it was from junk food eaten by the town's children. before 9am one morning i saw one girl eat three popsicles! one of our students told of seeing the little son from her homestay, at grandma's urging, steal money from mom's purse (or at least take it without asking), to buy the two of them ice cream lollies.

on the first full day of our homestay our group filled dozen of trashbags with litter as the townspeople looked on. the following day the students planned a skit to perform for the villagers to show them the the litter they had no plan for could hurt them in their desire to develop tourist trade as well as degrade their environment.

all the while as this was happening, the townspeople would try to sell us their needle work, their the silver and brass jewelry, or offer to take our backpacks for us on the hike out of town. my host mother was very upset with me and ray, our other male instructor, for buying the needle work of the guide who led us into town in her house rather than buying hers. in trying to negotiate a price for her work later on, the conversation was always that they were poor and needed money.

men from town now often go to guangzhou my former home and where we will visit a Santa hat factory in a few days through a connection of mine, to find factory jobs to send money home. if families here want to buy appliances or the like, they can either take out loans or find other streams of income. they have a little need for a lot of cash, as their land is theirs, their houses, spacious three story wooden structures (ground for animals and the dugout toilet, middle for people, upper for storage) built without nails from local cedar trees, last for centuries. they have fresh water flowing throughout the town in open ditches. they can grow all the food they need.

it is security without disposable income. i am not trying to idealize their lives, as i am sure my four days there allowed my only a patial understanding of things that most likely can lead to misinterpretation. that said, with the tourists walking through from one town to another, with the coming of electricity three years agao and with it tv and freezers and fridges for cokes and ice cream, how has the village's perception of wealth change?

the final night of our stay we had a dance performance and skit, followed by an informal song exchange. our skit went fine, although our audience seemed less than attentive. their dances were interesting and instructive. they started with songs party cadres had taught them about chairman mao, which they did not know well at all. i think they thought that we wanted to see these dances, as they know they are popular with the many chinese tourists that come through.

ray had to ask them to perform the songs and dances of their own culture, not what the mainstream expected them to perform or what they expected the mainstream to like. (for example, the yao kept on asking us if we wanted to see them comb their long hair, as this is a hula-like abberation local custom and eroticization of local women that is a big hit with tourists.) it was a surprise to them.

in the end, the men and women exchanged their traditional courtship songs in otherwordly resonating high and low tones; this was their culture of and for themselves, and they were surprised and happy we wanted to hear it.

the sad thing is that this generation we saw sing these songs may be the last one to know it, as the children, watching tv and listening to mandarin language pop, no longer even understand the words to all the songs, let alone are able to sing them themselves. is this not the loss of a treasure?

finally, how do we contribute to the conservation or loss of this wealth? what does it mean for me to eat a chocolate bar in their village, or even at home? can i feel better about having stayed in a villagers home, rather than in a hostel in the richer towns? will having the young of the village see our skit and watch their elders sing the old songs help their village preserve its natural and cultural beauty?

finally, when i return home, how easy will it be for me to rturn to my suburban american way of life? drive to work, stop at in and out on the way home, turn on the iPod? i pray i may make some change.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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the meaning of wealth in the rice terraces

Chris Nutter,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

what did america eat like before all of our food was wrapped in plastic and bought in stores? when our food was all locally grown? before television and the food processing industry and moden life replaced our traditional american ways of life? i really don’t know, but i have an idea of this way of […]

Posted On

08/2/08

Author

Chris Nutter

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as a cultural student i when to the home stay in shangriela wich was awsome so yesterday when we were trecking to pingan i started to conpare the home stay that i just had and the one before it and to me the biggest diffrence was the children in the villages

in the tebeten village children were supposed to work and did just that when they were old a nuff (sorry for the bad spelling) to do so wile at the rice tereces the kidswere everywere they were unruly and mischevius they only realy worked when they saw us picking up strash. we were told that some of the children were real brats and would cry untile they got canndy momey or they would steal from there parents now that just made me sad

so for me the diffrences where huge not only becouse of the having the hole group their instead of 4 other poeple but becouse you could see their coulture slowly dwindling

[post_title] => Home stay [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => home-stay-6 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-08-01 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53526 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 453 [name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008 [slug] => china-comprehensive-survey-group-a-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 453 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 453 [category_count] => 62 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => china-comprehensive-survey-group-a-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/china-comprehensive-survey-group-a-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008 )

China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Home stay

jacob slade - baxter (aka Harry Potter,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

as a cultural student i when to the home stay in shangriela wich was awsome so yesterday when we were trecking to pingan i started to conpare the home stay that i just had and the one before it and to me the biggest diffrence was the children in the villages in the tebeten village […]

Posted On

08/1/08

Author

jacob slade - baxter (aka Harry Potter

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After spending a a couple days hiking through the mountains, I can safetly say China has some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes I've ever seen. The people are exteamly friendly, and surprisingly and disapointingly used to hosting foriegn bachpackers-although Lijiang is considered a backpacker's haven, so I suppose I should not be surprised. Still, as the Yi people have moved high up into the mountains to escape mainstream exsistance, I find it a bit sad that their choice is still encroached upon in the forms of visitors, T.V., ect. Luckily, most seem happy enough with their lot, and I must say I am a bit jealous...

The scenery was absolutely amazing. Fields of wildflowers, mountians shrouded in clouds, bubbling streams, and a trail of mud for us to skip and slog through.Goats, horses, caks, yaks, pigs, dogs, chickens, butterflies ramble all over the mountain sides and into the valleys. Fields of corn, potatoes, tobacco, squash, sunflowers, cabages, and even towards the end, rice, stretch over all of the possible farmable area near each village. People wander around with huge wicker baskets filled with crops on their backs, many as old as my grandparents, and I know that what they are carrying is heavier than what I am, but when I am out of breath, they continue to move faster than me.

The food was absoluely amazing, and whether from hunger, or the fact that it was actually that good I have no idea; it was he freshest food I'e likely ever eaten in my entire life. And there is definitely something to be said for being able to just come in after a day of trodding in muck and dry your shoes, socks, feet, pants, and legs by a fire pit while playing endless rounds of cards orattempting to break the language barrier and sending your host into reels of laughter.

The children were so different from those I am used to. For one thing, these children seem infinitely more mature, smarter, resourceful. They work, from a young age, and learn how to do all the things they need to know to survive by my age, in addition to going to school. They also create thier own toys, and games, for thier free time, and that is increasingly rare back in the states. They spend most of every day outside, despite the weather, and enjoy it. I wish that I had been more like that as a kid.

(And now I have no more time for yakking, so I'll end it here.)

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Trekking

Cindy Roe,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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After spending a a couple days hiking through the mountains, I can safetly say China has some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes I’ve ever seen. The people are exteamly friendly, and surprisingly and disapointingly used to hosting foriegn bachpackers-although Lijiang is considered a backpacker’s haven, so I suppose I should not be surprised. […]

Posted On

07/28/08

Author

Cindy Roe

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Foreigners? Where?

Christina Nieves,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

WE are officially Chinese. Don’t hand us a fork, because we own chop sticks. Don’t try to sell us toilets, because we won’t buy them. We use squatters, baby! We travel on train and bus, we don’t need cars. We stay with families and eat Samba. Y U M! We all watch out for each […]

Posted On

07/28/08

Author

Christina Nieves

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A cathedral can be one of the most glorious, wealthy, and detailed buildings you will ever see. They have lasted hundreds of years and a countless nember of people come to pray in them every year. On the other hand, on the other side of the world, a different type of place for worship exists and it is perhaps even more stunning.

The monestary topping the green hills in Zhong Dian is a place of peace, beauty, and mystery. We first needed to climb about 100 stairs to reach the gilded front doors of the temple, and at an altitude of about 8,000 feet, I was panting when I reached the top. To my right was a prayers wheel, a large brall cylinder with carvings on the outside and buddhist texts on the inside. Spinning it clockwise means you're Buddhist. Counterclockwise means you're Bon po. To my lesft were two large, wite temples guarded by lions and draped in tapestry. Ahead of me was a grate covering a window. Each section of it depicted one of the eight important symbols in Buddhism. Behind me was the land. At the foot of the stars there were small, white, stucco houses. The roofs were partially covered with wood tiles and partially thatched. The cracks down the walls had turned brown and the dirt roads are filled with potholes. However, somehow, the charm of the town radiates from the monks carrying water and the friendly children in traditional Tibetan dress asking to take a photo with us. Beyond the town lies the women all selling the same Tibetan trinkets. And beyond that lies the hills and the grass being grazed by yaks, the farmland that people work so hard on, the fields of endless barley, and after that, the clear, perfectly periwinkle sky.

But the smell of the juniper burning as insence brings me back to the incredible scene infront of me. As I enter the temple, my eyes have to ajust for a minute because it is very, very dark. When I turn slowly to look at the wall, the painting of a vicious-looking deity almost shocks me. He is green and in a contorted, unnatural pose. His face is formed into an angry growl. Unlike the detailed frescos you would see in a Catholic church, this deity is painted in bright color blocks. The colors are almost flourecent. But this deity isn't the only one painted on the wall, nor is it even the biggest or most important; is seems like 50 others, all completely unique, line the walls of this ancient monestary.

As I walk further in, I come to a small, silver figure of a temple. Below it on a plate, money and barly are mixed and the Tibetans are pouring the mixture over the temple. As I do the same, it makes a loud, crashing noise that echoes off the lumber ceiling and ancient, stone floor. Across from me, along the wall, there are more figures of deities, but they are sculptures. In front of them are important people from Tibetan Buddhism that have died. Their remains have been stored under, with, and inside the deities. Insense are available to make offerings. Infront of the remains, alters are set up. On the alters are bowls and bowls of water. This is because water is pure, clean, and can wash away worng-doings. Infront of the bowls are three large chalices filled with yak butter to keep the flame lit. Next to the chalices is a monstrous gold teapot. People, after praying, fill their bottles with the bottles with the yak butter tea that the pot contains.

All along, the chanting from the monks echoes in the hall. In the back, right corner of the temple, a line of people have formed. One by one they kneel infront of a chanting monk. The monk takes a Buddhist texts, touches them on the head with it, which is a blessing. Afterwards, the person makes an offering of money and they recieve a bracelet with wooden beads and three insence to burn at any alter they choose.

Wandering around this gorgeous place was, in a way, a very spiritual experience for me. I am athiest, but the constant, mumbled chanting and bells ringing was haunting and movingon a deeper level. The entire monestary was open for exploration, so once in a while I stumbled into monks sitting around their heater stove eating samba and drinking tea, minding their own business. For me, the charm and the ancient aspect of this place of worship was much more moving and awesome for me than a cathedral would be. A cathedral overwhelms you with its wealth and its size. But in the monestary, things were ancient and quaint and powerful.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Amongst the Monks

Louise Dixon,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

A cathedral can be one of the most glorious, wealthy, and detailed buildings you will ever see. They have lasted hundreds of years and a countless nember of people come to pray in them every year. On the other hand, on the other side of the world, a different type of place for worship exists […]

Posted On

07/28/08

Author

Louise Dixon

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