This weekend at Intern China Chengdu our team went to Dufu Cottage followed by a relaxing afternoon of Mahjong and Tea drinking.
Dufu is a very famous Chinese poet born in the 7th century. He resided in Chengdu for 4 years during the AnShan Revolution which led to him fleeing from his home town of LuoYang in Henan province. During his time in Chengdu he lived in a modest thatched cottage by the flower rinsing shores of the river in the west of Chengdu.
It is here he is said to have been most prolific in terms of his output of poetry, writing over 240 poems. Taking in the scenery in this beautiful area of Chengdu it is easy to see where he got his influence and motivation for writing such an great number of poems.
In the grounds of Dufu’s Cottage you can see a wide variety of blossoming plants as well as a wide range of classic architecture and buildings. Including the famous hut by the river where Dufu would spend his days gazing over the river watching the wildlife.
After walking the grounds at the cottage and getting some fantastic Sichuan food for lunch we headed to a Mahjong house near to WenShu Monastery.
When arriving at the Mahjong house we chose a room with a view over the street, in hindsight this probably wasn’t the greatest idea. This being my first time playing I was amazed by the table at which we were playing. It had an in built shuffling device, contained two sets of tiles and also an under table heater to keep our feet warm.
After being taught the rules by the rest of the IC Chengdu team we began to play. Let’s just say it didn’t go too well for myself but we were having fun.
During our time playing the passing locals seemed shocked and amazed at the foreigners playing Mahjong. Asking if we knew how to play, taking photos. One gentleman even took it upon himself to stand by our table for 20mins offering instructions. Including getting animated if any of us were to do one thing even slightly wrong.
All in all it was a great day out, relaxing enjoying 3 hours of Mahjong and the serenity and tranquility of Dufu’s cottage made for a great Saturday in Chengdu.
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Early on Saturday morning our interns from the Chengdu branch headed out on the train for Leshan. The forecast suggested it would snow; a rare sight in Sichuan Province, but that didn’t dampen our spirits.
After getting off the train at Leshan, we took a short taxi ride to the Leshan Buddha and surrounding area. After paying our admission fee and entering through the gates, the beauty and the attraction on show stunned us!
Whilst it may be expected that it is just the Buddha on show at Leshan, there is in fact a whole array of statues and monuments to be admired. We started by ascending the mountain up to a look out point over the rivers beneath, where there was a fantastic view over the valley below.
After a short walk through a forested area we ended up at a pagoda standing tall at the top of a wide staircase. When we reached the foot of the pagoda we could see a few Buddhists walking around the square base reciting prayers.
We then headed towards the Giant Buddha taking in the sights as we walked through beautiful lily ponds full of Koi fish gracefully gliding through the water. At the head of the Buddha there was a giant bell being rung by a monk to ward off evil.
After briefly pausing at the top of the Buddha we headed towards the temple at the top of the mountain. Inside the temple were lots of people paying their respect to Buddhist figures, burning incense and leaving offerings.
Then it was time for the main event.
The Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha stands a giant 71m tall and looks over the confluence of the rivers Dadu and Min. Which eventually flow in the giant Yangtze river. The Dadu starts its journey in the Tibetan plateau before winding its way through Kanding. Then onto Leshan eventually ending up in the East China Sea. This towering structure was built between 700-803 AD and contains an elaborate drainage system in order to prevent weathering.
After a short fact file by myself to prepare the interns for what was ahead, we made our way to the top of the stairs, which descend down the cliff face beside the Buddha. This allowed us to get a true feeling for the scale of the massive structure. Descending our way down was the perfect opportunity to capture some fantastic pictures before reaching the bottom. We took our time, and stood at the feet of the world’s largest pre-modern statue, capturing some images and enjoying the roars from the rivers below.
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I went to Xinjiang for traveling from september 18th till October 13 th. I was planing to go Xingjiang since long time ago, after my traveling, I can tell Xinjiang is really an awesome place! Beautiful natural scenery, nice people and great foods, gave me one of the best traveling experience.
If you never been to Xinjiang, you will never know how big China is! I took train to Urumchi from Guangzhou, It was taken me 55 hours , 3 nights and 2 days, But not so bad, I got second class ticket, that mean I could sleep during the long trip.
Before my traveling, I posted some informations on a website to find some people to travel together, finally, the had 15 people join my team, they are from all over China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Dongguan… I think the best way for traveling in Xinjiang is rent a car or bus yourself with friends or follow tourist company, because Xinjiang is too big, we tried drove over 10 hours still in the gobi desert highway, but on the way, always good views, we even saw Przewalski horse(a kind of wild horse), wild donkey, wild goat….
For my long trip, the have too many stories, now I am just show you guys some pictures were taken by myself, I will write some details later if you were interested in it,haha 😉
Mid-Autumn Festival, the “Zhongqiu” festival is the one of the traditional family-gathering-days for China. Every 15th, August of the Moon Calendar, Chinese people will gather around and have moon-cakes with their families while enjoying the glorious full moon. Already in 《Rites of Chou》, a chefdoeuvre of Confucianism in Chou Dynasty, has “Zhongqiu” been mentioned.Like other Chinese traditional festival, the mid-autumn festival also has some beautiful tales, among which is the most famous one: Chang e Gone to the moon.
So get ready and have your tissues on standby, I am going to tell you the swooping love story of how the mysterious moon cakes came about!
It is said that in ancient times, there were ten suns hanging in the sky which never set. People got scorched and all crops died because of drought. When only factor 60 could save them, Humanity’s survival hung in the balance. One day a man named Houyi appeared, a great archer and hero. Legend says that he had the power, accuracy and strength only god could give. He climbed to the Mount Kunlun and shot down 9 suns one by one, then he shouted at the last one calling it a naughty sun, making it swear that it would follow the rules set by Houyi to rise at dawn and go down at dusk. After then people finally could live a normal and happy life.
Because of his heroic undertaking, Houyi earned the respect of people and also love. He married a beautiful woman named Chang’e. Loads of people, mostly hunters, came to his house, to learn archery from this legend. Among them was a villain called Pengmeng.
One day, Houyi went out to pay a visit to Mount Kunlun to learn some new techniques from a friend, he met a goddess of the high heaven halfway, who had already heard of his legendary feat. The Goddess gave him an Elixir of Life, which could grant immortality and make one ascend to god, as a reward for his magnificent deeds; however there was only one potion. Houyi didn’t want leave his wife alone in earth and become god alone, so he let Chang’e lock the elixir in his cupboard, and tried his best to earn another one for his wife.
Some days later, Houyi and his apprentices went out to hunt, Pengmeng pretended being sick and stayed at Yi’s house. When they were all gone, Pengmeng threatened Chang’e to make her give up the elixir. Chang’e knew she could not beat Pengmeng, so she ran to the cupboard and drank the potion. Suddenly, Chang’e felt lighter, and rose from ground to float in the air. Slowly, she flew to high Heaven.
When Houyi came home, the maid told him what happened. He felt so sad and cried under the moonlight, suddenly he discovered there was a shadow of his wife in the moon. Since Chang’e also didn’t want to live far from her husband, she chose the moon as her goddess-palace, so she could gaze upon Houyi every night.
So in order to remember his wife, every 15th August , Houyi would set up an alter and put cakes and fruits of Chang’e’s favorites, and crooned of her name. And those people he saved also did so, to give praise and sympathy to this couple.
Gradually, this festival became a family gathering day. And for those who are less fortunate, those who are unable to have reunion, they can still eat the moon-cakes and enjoy watching the full-moon. We believe, since we are watching the same moon, the feelings will be delivered by the moon. Awwwwwwwwww.
Ok, so much for the old book. For our students, Mid-Autumn Festival is a good chance to improve relationships with your host-families. Just have dinner with them and enjoy the feast of moon-cakes (sometimes a little too sweet) under the moonlight. It’s what family-members do. Maybe even think of loved ones back home as you gaze at the sky remembering all the while that we are all under the same moon..
As you all know food is always a central point of Chinese culture. Therefore the team at InternChina organized a professional cooking class where two typical Chinese dishes were cooked: firstly, scrambled eggs with fresh tomatoes, secondly, diced chicken with spicy peanuts.
After the chief of the kitchen gave us an interesting cooking show, where he impressively showed us how to prepare the dishes, it was our turn to cook. Each person got his or her own “supervisor” which meant nobody could do anything wrong and every dish was more or less “acceptable” 😉
But take care of your fingers: as you see on the pictures Chinese knifes are HUGE and not comparable to knifes in Europe. Additionally, you should be aware of the fact that in a Chinese kitchen you always find gas stoves which means that occasional spurts of flames are unavoidable.
Résumé: we all had a great evening and ate a lot (especially Leo from InternChina because it turned out that he was the unofficial “Pretester” of every single meal).
It has been awhile since my last blog post and a lot of things have happened since then. Last Sunday, Intern China organized beach volleyball at Shi Lao Ren beach for all the interns and Intern China staff. The weather was good and we all ended up having a great time! After the beach volleyball, me and some other interns went to have dinner at Carnegie’s. I truly recommend Carnegie’s because the food there is really good.
Today, our office manager in Qingdao finally came back from her university tour in Germany. Welcome back Jenny! We’ve missed you! As we have many new interns this week, we thought it would be a great idea to bring all interns together for dinner this Friday night. I will make sure to update information about our coming Friday dinner!
Easter brunch is one of my favorite meals of the year. Yes, Thanksgiving and Christmas are great. And my birthday is high up on the list, too. But Easter has always been special for me.This year we didn’t go for Easter egg hunting, but organized a big Easter brunch for all InternChina participants and InternChina friends instead. Creating your own Easter brunch can be a Hercules task – so why don’t take advantage of us? It took place at a well-known Western restaurant, the Diner22, which is located right in the heart of Qingdao’s business center. Also it was the first time within my four months in Qingdao that I had the opportunity to eat real (!!!) Camembert, ham and even salami! Every table shared one or two small baskets with bread, Croissants, yoghurt and everything else you would like to have for a good Easter brunch, so no one of the 25 to 30 people who joined our Easter brunch on Sunday asked for more. A German InternChina friend also brought some small chocolate Easter bunnies which made us miss home a bit – but this feeling didn’t last very long 😉
I hope all of you have had a happy Easter, too. From my point of view, I was happy to spend this day with people I like and who made my first Easter far away from home really special for me!