Have you heard the quizzical statement 'It took God a week to create the world. All the rest was made in China’ ? In fact, many a true word is spoken in jest. Paper, gunpowder, a compass, silk, alcohol, noodles, a kite, Chinese horoscope, Feng shui,... the list of Chinese inventions is VERY impressive.
The first roots of Love for this extraordinary country was kindled in me when I was 9 or 10 - don't remember exactly- I was on summer holidays at my granny's place and was enjoying my time in the attic imagining that I was a savvy archeologist searching for vintage artifacts. I even had a special log where I used to note down some "historic” details about the most fascinating things that I was lucky to 'dig out'. One day I found an old book with a
shabby green cover dated back to 1940s.. Apparently, it wasn't a book for kids as there were no pictures at all and the font was too small but some inner voice made me start reading it. And I still remember the feeling about that book - it was DIFFERENT from what I had read so far. Now contemplating about my reading taste, I see that it might have been partly formed by that Chinese book, as every time when I get to reading something, I subconsciously compare whether it has the same emotional effect on me or not. Unfortunately I don't remember the plot of that green book, just only that it was about foxes -they are something like European 'fairies' in Chinese folklore, it was just deep admiration of another culture I knew nothing about.
Many years later, thanks to my passion for online shopping from Chinese stores, I had an opportunity bits by bits to explore China more closely through reading blogs, watching youtube videos and looking through numerous pictures. I even took up learning the Chinese language, frankly, with varied success. What still amazes me is that I can't remember any particular names apart from Konfuci, Mao Zedong, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Why? Perhaps it's due to my personal ignorance and poor memory or Asian approach to a Person which is absolutely opposite to European one as they value collective identity rather than individuality.
Now I can say that those random patchwork facts and sudden 'wow' impressions
weaved a sophisticated intricacy of already known and still veiled information about China which is pushing me to visit this ancient country and see it for myself and I’ve already made a collection of "must see places before you die”.
Let me share some more things I admire about China.
What makes a country powerful and magnetic? People.
You might say that the picture below looks like a Photoshop trick, right?
They are real human footprints (btw 1.2 inches deep) left by a Budhist monk who spent 70 years praying on this wooden plank 3000 times a day! DEVOTION! - Chinese are all devoted to their country and families and I value it very much.
Chinese medicine has been working its magic curing everything from a splitting headache to broken bones for about 23 centuries, it's an acknowledged fact about acupuncture and herbs. Besides, I've tried some herbs by myself and with positive effects. I trust the approach Chinese medicine applies - a person is a garden (not a machine) and doctors are gardeners (not mechanics)
Warming your heart tea...jasmine, oolung, pu’er, dragon well... An amazing tea ceremony tradition that spread all over the world and became an integral part of any tea lover's life. I especially like to observe the process when dry flowers in the tea-pot are coming to life stretching their petals - it's magnetic and hypnotising!
I'm a real cinema fan and I keep to watch at least one movie per day , but as for Chinese martial arts films like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”or "The Shaolin Temple" , they left me cold. And what's more, I was sure that Chinese are not that good at film- making until I saw "Aftershock (2010)” and which appeared an 'eye-opener' for me. I don't want to sound pathetic I really mean that - I underwent catarsis. This film uncovered something hidden about Chinese nation as a whole which I still can't translate into words but it makes me think about it now and then. I highly recommend this movie for watching.
Some people still think that Chinese clothes and other products are cheap, tacky and of very low quality. Believe me - they are not. BTW, many famous brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok ( and not only them) have moved their production to China and end-users don't notice any difference in quality and for me personally the tag 'made in China' doesn't have a negative connotation any longer. And the proverb "We are not so rich to buy cheap things’ is of the Chinese origin. Did you know?
To top it all, I’d like to say that I highly respect and admire Chinese people as a nation. They are industrious, inventive and speedy learners. They worship and preserve their rich historical heritage and cherish their motherland and they are united like an extensive and close family as Russians used to be back in the USSR.