Found Poem April 11th
Calligraphy, Family Dispute,
Exercise, Animal Organs
Illiterate Emperor, Tree
Frank, Jasmine Tea,
Today we went to Tianamen Square.Â It was really windy in the morning, but that didnâ€™t stop us from learning more about China.Â â€śTianâ€ť means heaven, â€śanâ€ť means peace and â€śmenâ€ť means gate.Â When we got there, Ann, Peter (both from China Prep) and Frank (our tour guide) told us that Maoâ€™s body was in the shrine.Â There were hundreds of people lined up to see his body.Â Luckily, Frank knew to avoid the crowds. Â He then told us about the student protests in the square and how the soldiers werenâ€™t originally armed with loaded weapons.Â Unfortunately, the protesters took it too far and the soldiers were told to do anything possible to keep themselves safe.Â This led to the infamous 1989 Tiananmen Square killings. We compared this situation to the most recent protesters in London. At the end of the square there was the Tiananmen gate (which checks visitors) to the left and a watch tower (used by military to protect the city) to the right.
_Â Â Post by Kelvin
Today we went to the Forbidden City. When we got there, I was excited to learn about the history of it. Iâ€™ve seen a bunch of movies (Chinese â€śmoviesâ€ť were usually called â€śdramasâ€ť) that were set back in the monarchy times when emperorâ€™s would rule. Until this trip, I always thought the settings were the actual Forbidden City. But I also learned there was only one actual Italian film filmed in the Forbidden City, hence â€śForbiddenâ€ť.
When we went inside the Forbidden City, Frank (our tour guide) told us many stories that related to the reason why certain things were there, and there positions in the city. Â Â Since I was little, Iâ€™ve always watched dramas about the imperial times and the Forbidden City, a lot of Chinese dramas like to film about history. When I realized a lot of information I knew was wrong, I was eager to learn which things were right and which things were wrong from the dramas.
I also learned new information, so it made me happy. When Frank was talking to us on the bus, he asked us about the 1st emperor of the Ming Dynasty and whom he picked to become the next emperor. From the dramas I watched, I knew the 1st, 2nd, 3rd sons were dead, so the 4th son was the next oldest. Although I donâ€™t know if this next information I learned from the drama was true: the reason why the 4th son didnâ€™t get picked was because this â€śmotherâ€ť (the empress) wasnâ€™t his actual mother. His actual mother was a concubine. At the time that this 4th son was given birth to, the empress also tried to give birth to the next heir. Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage. The emperor wanted to keep the empress happy, so he forced the concubine to give her son up to the empress. When the time came for the emperor to pick his heir, he didnâ€™t want to pick the 4th son (the oldest one and most eligible) because he wasnâ€™t the empressâ€™ actual son. So, the emperor picked the 1st sonsâ€™ son, his grandson, to become the heir. I knew how to answer Frankâ€™s question from the information I learned from the movie.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Post by Jenny
After the Forbidden City â€śjourneyâ€ť, we went to a super good restaurant called Peeking Duck, which obviously specialized in duck.Â Let me tell you that this duck was soooooooo good – especially when we made the duck wrap with mango sauce.Â It was so savory.Â Ann arranged for us to visit the kitchen to take a â€śturnâ€ť at revolving the ducks in the oven so that they wouldnâ€™t burn.Â Afterwards, we visited the Urban Planning Museum which featured many bird eye views of Beijing. They alsoÂ had many future buildings that were going to be built.Â We also had to find our hotel on a scale map of Beijing that was a 3D model as well.Â I, of course, with my superior navigation skills found it first with the help of a colleague. Next, we went to very old part of Beijing that specializes in shopping.Â Â We had an hour to shop and many of my peers bought souvenirs.Â This shopping experience was different than the Great Wall because you canâ€™t bargain.
-Â Post by George
After visiting the shops, we rode rickshaws around the town, and eventually into our next activity. We then visited a Whu-Shu master, Mr. Lui. After showing us some cool moves, he brought out weapons. At a safe distance, he performed challenging moves that people would only see in cartoons. He then let others try with dull weapons. They made poses that Whu-Shu fighters would do. After putting away the weapons, he showed us his musical skills, by playing an Er Yinyue (basically the Chinese version of a violin). After showing us some songs, he let some students try it. I was the first to try it, but I didnâ€™t do so well.Â When he put the Er Yunyue away, he began to teach us Calligraphy. He taught us basics such as â€śChinaâ€ť or â€śSunâ€ť. The way you wrote the Calligraphy required a completely different hand position which is hard to get used to. Once we were done with Calligraphy, he and his wife treated us to a homemade Chinese dinner. It was not as fancy as the other restaurants weâ€™ve been to, but knowing that his family had made it for us was an enjoyable experience. It was challenging, because not finishing the food is considered disrespectful. Even when we were all full, we were still stuffing our faces with rice and other dishes. When we finished dinner, we thanked him, and exercised in the free gym that is apart of the park in front of his house.Â Our finally stop for the day was the night market.Â Here, we saw very unique foods; snake, spider, bull hearts, scorpions, crickets, beetles, etc.Â Needless to say, we did not buy anything, just took in a different part of the Chinese culture.Â Tomorrow we fly to Hangzhou.
-Â Â Â Â Post by Sonny