Daily Archives: January 13, 2018

The Beauty of Beijing

This morning we departed campus at 8:30 AM for one of the most memorable excursions yet. Our plan was to be transported to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, followed by the Temple of Heaven, a walk down Liulichang Culture Street, and a visit to a Chinese tea house. Many of us had previously studied these locations in class, so finally getting the chance to see them was extremely fulfilling. Tiananmen Square provided a true characterization of China. The combination of traditional Chinese architecture and modern monuments dedicated to the people of China allowed us to genuinely see that we are in a nation where the citizens take pride in the ideology that comes from their history and also in the people that share their culture. We saw evidence of this multiple times during the day. For one, in the Forbidden City, we came across a room where pictures could be taken in garments the Chinese emperor would wear. The people were very happy to see some of us American students wearing the Chinese outfits, even stopping to take pictures and talk. Some rules in the Square also showed the importance of maintaining Chinese culture. Our tour guide Lynn told us that it was illegal to take pictures there holding a flag from any other country except China. After another delicious lunch, we went to the Temple of Heaven which was located near a park. In the park, we witnessed the liveliness of elderly citizens in Beijing, who were exercising and taking part in card games together. The Temple itself was grand and richly decorated. Yet, one of the most enjoyable moments of the day was in the afternoon when we went into a tea house. Exhausted from our long walks, we were pleased to sit down and relax with some tea. Many of us ended up purchasing some tea to bring to our friends and family. We are happy to share the culture of China with our homes through the tea and other experiences we had today. The beauty of every building we visited was a symbol of the rich history of China; a history that we explored today and will be exploring tomorrow at the Great Wall. -Marisol Carty