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Firework is legal in China. In fact, gunpowder is China’s ancient invention. Fireworks are used as part of the celebration in occasions such as Chinese New Year or opening of a new store business. One of our trips to China was to visit relatives in rural area. My husband and my siblings decided to play fireworks. They spent US$10 and got a whole shopping bag of all kinds of fireworks. The more expensive one was the rocket design with 13 tubes of gunpowder strapped in a hexagon shape.

Upon ignition, the rocket was catapulted straight into the sky so high that we almost couldn’t hear the explosion. My husband was impressed by the powerful display. He was thrilled and played until the last piece of fireworks was spent, because fireworks is illegal in our city in U.S.

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Daily Prompt: Catapult

Daily Prompt: Impression

Weekly Photo Challenge – Chinese Heritage & Thursday’s Special

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Chinese has more than 5000 years of heritage. I am only touching a drop in the ocean. The following photo is a novelty way to represent the structure of emperors in many dynasties.

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Most social values are derived from Confucianism and Taoism. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, and the importance of the family and social harmony.

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Taoism is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony. Taoist ethics in general tend to emphasize Naturalness: simplicity and spontaneity. The Three Treasures are: Compassion, Frugality, and Humility.

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The ancient written standard was Classical (Traditional) Chinese. It was used for thousands of years. The modern standard is Simplified Chinese. As for spoken language, there are multiple dialects in different regions of China. The Reformers established a Beijing-based Mandarin as a national spoken language.

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The music, dance, acrobat, Kungfu, Tai chi, arts, ceramic, architecture, and cuisine also play major roles in Chinese heritage.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

Paula’s Thursday’s Special – Traces of the Past

Fortune built on Killing

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We watched  documentary one night. In 2012, investigative journalists Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley explored the illegal ivory trade and the plight of Africa’s elephants, and documented their work in the National Geographic special Battle for the Elephants.

People made a fortune from ivory trade. The history of the ivory trade and the resulting devastation of Africa’s elephant population reveals that from 26 million elephants in 1800 to fewer than one million today. A worldwide ban on ivory sales in 1989 led to a rebound in the population, to about a million.

But in 1999 and 2008, due to pressure from countries in Asia and southern Africa, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) allowed two sanctioned sales of ivory. Evidence showed that more than 25,000 elephants were killed in Africa in 2012 alone.

Save the Elephants!

http://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/history-ivory-trade/

Daily Prompt: Fortune

WPC – Against the Odds, Family Trip to China

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What are the odds to have seven people from four families in one extended family in US to take a family vacation to China? These four families live between 40 to 1,000 miles apart and in two different states in US. Out of the seven, six people were working for different companies with different vacation schedules. When I first contacted the travel agency in US, the agent said if we had ten people, we could have our private tour – a private van with a private driver. Initially we had nine people. After contacting the tour company in China, the travel agency said they could accommodate nine people for a private tour.  We proceeded with the booking. Shortly after that, one couple was not able to go. Since the tour company from China made the arrangement, they decided to take seven people for a private tour. We went to Beijing. Xian, Guiling, and came back to US via Hong Kong, so that we could stop by to visit my family. It was against all odds that we could make this memorable family vacation. As far as photos, I am showing the photos of the first city – Beijing. In Beijing, We visited the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge -Great Wall

These are several photos from our trip to China. We went to Beijing to visit the Great Wall. The tour guide took us to one entrance where we could have options of going on the steep section or flatter section. My daughter and her husband went to the steep section where they had to climb. My husband, his sister and her husband, my son-in-law’s mom and I took the flatter section. Well, there were some steps also, but at least didn’t have to climb.

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge January 4, 2017

Blessings #1

Our church is a part of the Grandparents Legacy movement. The idea is to be active in their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents tend to spoil their grandkids. It is perfectly fine to do that. On a serious note, there is such a richness in the grandparents lives, that is so valuable to the grandchildren. In order for this richness to be passed on, grandparents must be actively, consistently bestow on their grandchildren their value, their experiences, and their stories – thus, legacy.

Blessing #1 – My family survived WWII

I will start writing as if I am telling a story to my grandchildren. I count all the stories as blessings.

I will start with my parents. My parents got married when my father was sixteen years old and my mother was fifteen.  My mother gave birth to thirteen children and seven of them survived. I am the seventh in the birth order, but I only have one older sister who is second in birth order. I always wanted to know what happened to my first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth siblings who were born before I, but my parents never mentioned about them. My parents went to Hong Kong from Canton, China after they got married. My older sister was born in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a British colony before and after WWII. On December 8, (Asian time zone), Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, and invaded Hong Kong. Great Britain surrendered Hong Kong to Japan on December 25, 1941, on a day that the people in Hong Kong called Black Christmas. Japan occupied Hong Kong for December 25, 1941 to August 15, 1945.

Japanese invaded Hong Kong – Japanese troops were in Tsim Sha Tsui

During this period, my parents moved back to China. According to my older sister, they made a living by keeping a small farm. As for my mother, she continued to make babies, but obviously, the babies couldn’t make it under those hardship or lack of proper care.

On August 15, 1945, the VJ (Victory over Japan) Day, Japanese left Hong Kong. Three months later I was born. I was the only child among all the siblings born in China. 100 days after I was born, they moved back to Hong Kong where I was raised.  There was no transportation in operation. My family – my parents, my older sister, and my grandma, who carried me on her back, went on foot, following the railroad track for more than for forty seven miles to go back to Hong Kong. After our family settled in Hong Kong, my mother had 6 more children.  The 10th girl in birth order died of meningitis.

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To be continued next Thursday……

 

 

Order Among Chaos

When we went to China a few years ago. It seemed that the highway was shared by cars trucks, and buses, of course. But it was also shared by motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles with heavy loads balanced on the wheels. By the first look, it was chaos. Yet I didn’t hear any honking. Everyone was able to squeeze through tight spaces without scratching other people’s properties. In that sense, there were unspoken rules among the chaos.

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Weekly Photo Challenge:Chaos

Photos by Miriam Hurdle