Thursday, October 1, 2009

National Day

Today is National Day, the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The streets are deserted and Li Jiang is quiet. The few people who are out and about are watching Beijing's celebration on their cell phones. Everyone else is watching the activities from home. It doesn't really seem to be much of a celebration though. It's more like a show of power as tanks and soldiers march down the street.

Li Jiang had its celebration yesterday. Unfortunately I wasn't able to watch as much as I would have liked. I spent the morning in the bathroom getting sick from food poisoning, so I was very weak. But I had to capture some of the festivities. Most of the ceremony was in Chinese so I was at a loss there. But I'm sure much of it was propaganda touting Communism and the Chinese government. Many people in the village square were dressed in the traditional Nasi style. Musicians were playing Chinese instruments while a group of beautiful women sang.

But my favorite part was the dancing dragon!

This evening all of the townspeople came out of hibernation and were dancing in the traditional Nasi style in the village square. I joined in just for the fun of it.

Since this is the anniversary of the People's Republic, here are some of my initial thoughts. So far, I haven't seen much of the effect of Communism here in China. I have not seen one homeless person though. And even in the village we saw today, which we were told was very poor, everyone seems to have a home even if it is rustic. The people we have met seem content, so I have not seen the depressed country that is so often depicted. The most obvious effect of China's government was seen in our tour of Beijing. There was absolutely no information about Tiananmen Square. Our guide told us absolutely nothing about it and as we entered we went through some pretty intense security. Unfortunately, I don't think I can write about that experience until I am back home, because the Chinese government censors the more on that later. Overall from my perspective I don't know whether people support their government or if their voices are just hushed. Daughter

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