Monday, October 5, 2009

60 Years of China

by Ruth
(photo by Kevin)

October the first was an important day for China. It was the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Each year the country has a week long holiday to celebrate National Day. Every ten years, a big military parade is held in Beijing. But this year’s holiday was a really-really-really big deal.

To make sure there were no troubles or disruptions during the national holiday, Beijing instituted security measures than were even firmer than during the Olympics. They also blocked about 15,000 new websites in the weeks leading up to the day. Facebook is long gone, blogger has also fallen by the wayside (so we are uploading blogs via flickr), and we haven’t even been able to find a proxy site to break us through the barriers. We’re still holding out hope that once the national day hype backs down, we’ll regain some more access.

Anyway, on the morning of October 1st, a big military parade was held in Beijing. Only the top leaders and elite of the elite were invited to attend, but the whole country followed along on TV. We invited some students who stayed here during the holiday over to watch it with us. They were excited and brimming with pride about being Chinese. Sometimes I have to envy their patriotic zeal. Being Chinese seems to be one of the most central aspects of their identity.

In the evening of National Day, another big performance/gala was held in Beijing. It involved 60,000 performers singing and dancing and waving things in the air (all perfectly synchronized of course). It also included twice as many fireworks as the Olympics. The performance lasted for 1 hour and 40 minutes, and fireworks were going off for at least 75% of that time. It was all quite impressive.

I could say more, and perhaps Kevin will later, but for now I will just leave you with two recommended sights. I really should have put these at the beginning because they are more interesting than the blog.

A fellow foreigner in China posted some links, and I wanted to pass them onto you. They are both really interesting.
1. ( First is a series of pictures from the military parade.
2. ( Second is an interesting video – a combination of time lapse and slow motion that condenses the parade into 3 minutes 42 seconds.

No comments: