Monday, May 30, 2011

Visiting an Emperor’s Tomb

While in China we had the opportunity to stop at a Ming Tomb.  According to Wikipedia these are:

The Ming Dynasty Tombs (Chinese: 明十三陵; pinyin: Míng shísān líng; lit. Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty) are located some 50 kilometers due north of urban Beijing, in the People's Republic of China at a specially selected site. The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402–1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to the present location of Beijing. He is credited with envisioning the layout of the ancient city of Beijing as well as a number of landmarks and monuments located therein. After the construction of the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) in 1420, the Yongle Emperor selected his burial site and created his own mausoleum. The Ming tombs of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty were located on the southern slope of Tianshou Mountain (originally Mount Huangtu).’

This was one of my favorite stops on our tour. I feel that the pictures I took there better illustrate our experiences at the

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The People of China

I am not sure what to write about the people of China ..for sure there are a lot of people in this country.  Here is some demographics information, from the Issues and Trends in China’s History  on the population of China:

The world's population surpassed 6 billion (6,000,000,000) in October 1999, China's population represented more than 1/5 of this total (20.8%) — one out of every five people in the world lives in China. Today, China's population exceeds 1.25 billion (1,250,000,000), a number that continues to increase minute-by-minute on Beijing's official Ticking Population Clock.   China's population increases each year by approximately 12-13 million people, a number that exceeds the total population of individual countries such as Belgium, Greece, Cambodia, or Ecuador. Annual population growth in China actually exceeds the current population of Ohio, Illinois, or Pennsylvania.

On the day that we arrived in China it was Tomb Sweeping day.  A holiday for the Chinese that sounded much like our Memorial Day.  

Tomb Sweeping day is defined by Wikipedia as:

Qingming Festival is when Chinese people visit the graves or burial grounds of their ancestors. Traditionally, people brought a whole rooster with them to the graves visited but the occasion has become less formal over time. The festival originated from Hanshi Day (, literally, Day with cold food only), a memorial day for Jie Zitui (推, or Jie Zhitui, ). Jie Zitui died in 636 BC in the Spring and Autumn Period.

As this is a day of holiday in China Tianamen Square and the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, our first two stops after arriving there, were filled with thousands of people.  Most of these people were there to see Chairman Mao’s Tomb.  Thousands of people had come in from the country to pass by the tomb of Mao.

As is stated on the Issues and Trends website; China's population is at once its greatest asset as well as its most significant challenge, the greatest resource of this country is it’s people.  It seems that they are always on the move, everyone works, they all seem to love their country, and it is their people which is their greatest asset.  In addition to this these people know hardship, they can cope with it and they can make fabulous things out of nothing.
Below are the photos that I took while in China that I wish to share with you: