Sunday, October 28, 2007

Historical Holiday: A Candid Experience of One’s Ancestry - China [Part I]

As the Lebaran holiday approaches, a dinner with the big family with relatives from my father’s side was held in a usual authentic Chinese restaurant where “Big Daddy” (Grandfather) announced that he wanted his grandchildren to go witness the improvement of his village in China. One of my uncles then added the fact that in majority of the grandchildren have not been to the eminent Great Wall of China whilst giving a weird statement saying that one is not truly Chinese until they have been to the Great Wall. Thus, it was then decided that there will be a trip around China for the holidays which consists fifteen of my relatives.

We left on the tenth in the morning where the flight was delayed due to mental difficulties of the cooperation of the airport staffs in handling the immigration. Our group was the last to enter the aircraft with passengers staring at us, yet we could not care less for it was not our fault the immigration was done in such dull manners. Approximately four hours later, we landed in Hong Kong to transit for three hours before continuing to Fu Zhou, the city where my grandfather (of my father’s side) grew up.

We arrived at the airport at night when we saw that our grandfather picked us up using a huge bus. Two hours later, we arrived at a tall house isolated from the city. It was located in some rural area where not many houses were built. This is the new improved house of my grandfather. We then settled in our provided bedrooms, I shared a room with my other cousins prior to playing cards throughout the night. Towards the next few days, we were shown the construction of his deed in improving his village, the schools he established and his factory where he produce different kinds and sizes of pipes and different thickness of tires built in layers to be inserted within the pipe. Additionally, we were also told the intriguing structure of homes in surrounding areas, my grandma’s house particularly: The tall structure of the house was specifically made for the next generations. For example: the first floor is for the grandparents, the second floor has three rooms for the first son and his wife, the second son and his wife and the third son and his wife, as the third floor might have several rooms for several grandsons and their wives.

The next city to visit is Beijing, the capital city of China. As you readers may recall, it is where the World Olympics will be held in 2008, in their currently constructed stadium known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and the ‘Water Cube’. In a private tour, we ventured upon many historical heritages protected by the country and the world as well: The Summer Palace, the Underground Palace, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall of China. Here we inherited immense knowledge concerning many dynasties of China and how each of them fell within time, the symbolism Chinese used in objects correlating to their beliefs. These attractions were very much fascinating as much as it was very much exhausting. Walking around hundreds and hundreds of hectares everyday causes one to be physically weary and the fact that it is a Chinese tour, the history was informed with the Chinese language, thus, causing mental weariness of translating for the sake of comprehension. Additionally, we walked for five towers through the Great Wall of China which can be converted to approximately four kilometers in average (please note that it is not a walk on a flat surface such as the mall, it is a constantly changing gradient of surface). By the end of the tour, a sad moment occurred. My beloved 5x5 rubik’s cube was lost in the tour bus due to the mistake of our tour leader exchanging buses. (It was supposedly be a private tour bus, but somehow a miscommunication occurred) Now, my rubik’s cube would most likely by in the hands of a dim-witted Beijing child, never to be solved again…

1 comment:

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