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Spring in Beijing
For me this year started with trips. Returned
from Spain and Italy in January, I made another
trip to Beijing, China, in February and March.
$B!!(BChinese New Year celebrations begin in
the middle of February and continue to the
beginning of March. The lunar calendar is
The National People's Congress is held in
the beginning of March. I stayed in Beijing
in the days when these very important events
were going tightly following each other.
I stayed at "Beijing Hotel", a
high-class huge complex. The hotel is situated
in the center of Beijing just next to Tiananmen
Gate, Tiananmen Square and The Great Hall
of the People (The Congress Hall). The hotel
was nearly fully booked by the representatives
coming from all over China. The dining rooms,
cafes, and tearooms were kept only for the
representatives. We tourists had our breakfast
at a Japanese restaurant.
The Congress Hall building is 356 meters
by 207 meters, 171,800 square meters. The
main Congress hall seats 10,000 representatives.
I thought if so many people assembled together,
it must be physically impossible to discuss
or debate. The big ceremony can't be a congress.
In the world we find many nations having
such huge meetings without discussions. Perhaps
it is necessary to hold such conventions
for them. Naturally those gigantic conventions
do not guarantee those nations are democratic.
This year is the year of wild boar in Japanese
traditional calendar. In China, this year
is the year of pig. Pig is not highly respected
in Europe or USA. For Jewish people, pig
But for Chinese, pig is the symbol of the
prosperity. Young Chinese women hope and
try hard to have a baby in the year of pig.
The souvenir shops were full with sweet pigs.
We, the human race, are made of full of sins
but we have some good quality too. One of
our good things is to do humorous things
or acts very seriously. The large ceramic
relieves of dragons and golden lions in the
Forbidden City are far from the dignity.
The Japanese ethnic holy figures, "Tengu,
Daruma and Emma" are jolly art. We also
find many humorous figures on the gothic
cathedrals. Hindu and Buddhist sculptures
in Southeast Asia are happy and optimistic.
On the other hand the sculptures of the Greek
Gods pursued the form of ideal human body.
They are beautiful but serious. The Japanese
Buddhist sculptures have been formed after
the same school, beautiful but serious. It
is very interesting the religious sculptures
can be humorous and jolly or serious. You
can ponder why and how these two types have
Many hypotheses can be possible. Would you
work out your version?