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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010


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Throughout our travels in China so far, a consistant sight has been that of the Chinese lions, or Fu lions, "guarding" the entrances to everything from resturaunts to hotels to palaces. They've been an increasinglycommon sight in China but have been in existence in chinese culture since before 200 BC. They are sometimes reffered to as "mythical" lions because of the mystery surrounding there presence in chinese culture. No such lions ever roamed China. Regardless of their origin they became and have remained a dominant theme in Chinese culture. They are always in pairs of two, flanking the entrance, one with a paw resting on a sphere and the other with a paw on a belly-up small animal. There are several enterpretations for the symbolism of these objects.Some consider the male lion (with the sphere) to be protector of the earth and the female (with the animal, in this case considered a cub) to be protector of the animals. Another western interpretation of this eastern theme is that they are aides to Buddha (Fo lions literally meaning Buddha's lions). In this interpretation the lions are controllers of the earth and all the animals. The helpless creature is not a cub but rather prey, at the mercy of the lion. In our travels we've incountered dozens of pairs of them, this picture just being one grand example from in front of a police academy in Beijing

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Chinese Lions

Eli Rosenthal,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Throughout our travels in China so far, a consistant sight has been that of the Chinese lions, or Fu lions, "guarding" the entrances to everything from resturaunts to hotels to palaces. They’ve been an increasinglycommon sight in China but have been in existence in chinese culture since before 200 BC. They are sometimes reffered to […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Eli Rosenthal

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    [post_content] => Most people viset the Great Wall for a coulpe of hours, at a part packed with turoist, and then said they have seen the Great Wall.We went to a remoute part and slept on it. Not many people get to experence this. I will never forget it. Also, the meeting the people of the counrty side was refreshing. They were a lot different, more friendly and kinder. As leave the city and head out to the wu dong mountains, I look forward to meeting the people and learn more about them. 
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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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The Wall

Billy Regan,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

Most people viset the Great Wall for a coulpe of hours, at a part packed with turoist, and then said they have seen the Great Wall.We went to a remoute part and slept on it. Not many people get to experence this. I will never forget it. Also, the meeting the people of the counrty […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Billy Regan

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After experiencing the thrills of Beijing and the Great Wall, we took a train to Xi an to see first hand what is still the main way of travelling in China : trains. Despite having become far more luxurious and modern than their ancestors 30 years ago, they are still a unique way to interact with the locals. We had the chance to have soft seats which are the most comfortable seats (as opposed to the hard seats , which are more like hard benches) and it looked more like a Western train than anything else. But the atmosphere inside is a bit different. Despite not being as wild and noisy as I heard the hard seats were, there was still a lot of socializing going on. I jumped at the opportunity to take my mandarin skills to the limit and I had the chance to converse with a bunch of Chinese people.

But most of these conversations were short ands focused mostly on introducing ourselves and talking about our recent lives. The intense talking was limited to the guy next to me , an entrepreneur in his forties with whom I had deep and intense conversations about religion , the environement, mankind and urban vs rural China.

I won t go into further detail, but it willdefinitely be something I will always remember.

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Chinese Trains

Max Vachon,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

After experiencing the thrills of Beijing and the Great Wall, we took a train to Xi an to see first hand what is still the main way of travelling in China : trains. Despite having become far more luxurious and modern than their ancestors 30 years ago, they are still a unique way to interact […]

Posted On

07/5/10

Author

Max Vachon

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When most Western tourists go to the Great Wall , they usually get awed by the splendor and the majesty of the place, but they rarely take a chance to look around and get a real taste of the local culture. That wasn t the case for us, for we had the chance to explore an aspect of Chinese culture few know and even fewer understand : herbal medicine.

After eating at a restaurant near a remote section of the Wall, Kai (our instructor) whose is fascinated about Chinese medicine, convinced one of the staff members to show us the local plants and how they were used. So after a short hike on the Wall, we returned to the restaurant, left our bags, andfollowed Mr. Cuion a narrow path.

The road was harsh, full of weeds and branches, but pushed by our curiosity, we choose to continue despite the hardships. Then, once in a while Mr. Cui would stop and just describe a plant, while Kai would use his vast knowledge to give us even more info about the ones he knew.

The possibilities of such seemingly common plants are incredible. One of them, called Chai Hu, is capable of detoxifying the liver and helps keep your frustration and anger away. Another, called dan shen, activates blood circulation and is helpful against heart diseases and chest pain and a third one known as Sheng Di, clears the heat of the body and cools the blood (pretty useful on a hot day like this).

This list is only a sample of the numerous plants we encountered and they are a testimony to the wealth of the millenia-old Chinese culture, a culture that will keep surprising us all along the trip.

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Max Vachon,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

When most Western tourists go to the Great Wall , they usually get awed by the splendor and the majesty of the place, but they rarely take a chance to look around and get a real taste of the local culture. That wasn t the case for us, for we had the chance to explore […]

Posted On

07/4/10

Author

Max Vachon

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Hey Everyone,

The first day in Beijing was awesome as we explored the forbidden city, Tianamen Square and MaoZiDong's toumb. Sitting in A corner of the Forbidden City, Nina gave us an awesome lecture on the fall of the qing dynasty that facsinated everyone and got us even more excited to dive into the Chinese culture and history.The groupmet an adorable young chinese boywhojoyously practiced his english and took a picture with us.Later on last night, we all cleaned up and ate a delicious traditional beijing duck dinner. Although the rainy, humid weather was not ideal, eveyone had a blast and the skies even cleared up for our hike today. We all aresqueezing into the van now, ready to climb a remote area of the great wall where we are all looking forward to a sunset chigong sesh. Everything is great, we'll post back later to keep you updated!

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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forbidden city

Grace Backe,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

Hey Everyone, The first day in Beijing was awesome as we explored the forbidden city, Tianamen Square and MaoZiDong’s toumb. Sitting in A corner of the Forbidden City, Nina gave us an awesome lecture on the fall of the qing dynasty that facsinated everyone and got us even more excited to dive into the Chinese […]

Posted On

07/1/10

Author

Grace Backe

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We are in China!

What an amazing group!

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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We are in China!!!

Annie Jiao,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

We are in China! What an amazing group!

Posted On

07/1/10

Author

Annie Jiao

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Coming into the misty city, you feel as if you arrived in a ghost town. For there is nothing to see all around. But with aclose bond with all the friends we made, I feel able to take on whatever as a single or as a group. Wewent through many advertures that were fun, like blending in with the busy crowds, or taking the taxi through the city. I see a bright future in a were we goand there is more to come but there is much to learn and later to talk, forare group has just begun it's bond.

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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First Look

Jonny,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

Coming into the misty city, you feel as if you arrived in a ghost town. For there is nothing to see all around. But with aclose bond with all the friends we made, I feel able to take on whatever as a single or as a group. Wewent through many advertures that were fun, like […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Jonny

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    [post_content] => It has only been a day and I can't believe what a place this is. Our day technically started with us on a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong. Once we landed and took sometime to relax in the terminal weateto eat and took in the Hong Kong Airport. After that we had our first qi gong session. The qi gong session was a good way to get exposure to the Chinese Culture. After our flight to Beijing we took cabs to our hostel. For me, the cab ride will definitely be one of the most memorable experiences that i will have on this trip. While in the cab i worked up the courage to ask my first real Chinese question. From there we were lead into a discussion on the traditions of China and the roles of men and women from the prespective of a working class Chinese man. With the courage that i gained from that cab ride i was able to make my first order in Chinese. So far this trip has been more than what i have expected and I can't wait to see what's in store for us in the days to come. 
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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Hong Kong and Beijing!

Shak Mullings,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

It has only been a day and I can’t believe what a place this is. Our day technically started with us on a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong. Once we landed and took sometime to relax in the terminal weateto eat and took in the Hong Kong Airport. After that we had our first […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Shak Mullings

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Hello from Beijing! So far the trip is great.

Even after the long long long plane ride(s), we made it to the hostel in Beijing.

At the hotel in LA, we learned a bit about each other while revealing our connections. Our last American meal consisted of Dominos Pizza. On the flight from LA to Hong Kong, we did not get much sleep, but it was worth it as we got to know each other even more. This happened as well for the flight to Beijing.

During our taxi ride, we learned how o pen and insightful the drivers are.

We played fooseball in the hostel lounge, and got settled in. I am really excited for the upcoming events, and have enjoyed everthing so far!

Adam

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China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Trip so far

Adam Egelman,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

Description

Hello from Beijing! So far the trip is great. Even after the long long long plane ride(s), we made it to the hostel in Beijing. At the hotel in LA, we learned a bit about each other while revealing our connections. Our last American meal consisted of Dominos Pizza. On the flight from LA to […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

Adam Egelman

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    [post_content] => SO we have arrived in Beijing after 9 hours in a plane obviously watching movies :) anyway I waited at the airport (which btw is really nice looks sort of like Hong Kong and its huuggee) for the others to arrive it took a while and it was a bit boring but anyyway we all managed to squeeze into like 4 taxis to get to the youth hostil where we are going to stay for the next 2 nights its really nice for a hostil its more like a hotel but with crappy showers ......umm well honestly beijing reminds me of new dehli a lot but bigger roads more cars and 10 times more pollution.... we haven't seen much yet but there is a lot planned for tommorow the forbidden city the square basically Beijing... anyway there isn't much left to say the instructors are, from the little i.ve been with them, really nice and so are the other students :) 
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    [category_links] => China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010
)

China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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Beijing Day 1

gwen,China: A Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2010

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SO we have arrived in Beijing after 9 hours in a plane obviously watching movies 🙂 anyway I waited at the airport (which btw is really nice looks sort of like Hong Kong and its huuggee) for the others to arrive it took a while and it was a bit boring but anyyway we all […]

Posted On

06/30/10

Author

gwen

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