Monday, August 18, 2008

More Olympic Beijing 2008

I watched the Opening Ceremony last weekend again without any interruptions from any company. This time I paid more attention to what the hosts said about different performances. I can understand that without a lot of Chinese cultural and historical background, it is very difficult to explain in details of some of the performances in the opening ceremony. (You can check out some of the highlights at,page)

There are some of them that I really want to bring up to your attention.

The theme of the whole ceremony was about the 4 Great Ancient Chinese inventions.
1. Compass - It was believed that it was even invented before there was any written historical record.
2. Paper
3. Gun powder - It was the invention of the taoists because they were the first chemists in the ancient China.
4. Printing - It was invented before the first printed Bible.

Do you remember those 2008 drummers? When they did the countdown from 10 onwards, did you see the Chinese numbers at the back together with the Roman in the front?

Before the moving boxes, there were a group of performers wearing a custome with bamboo scrolls on hands. People, especially the riches, wrote and copy their books on these scrolls before the invention of paper. And the custome was worn by the men during the Qin dynasty which was between 221 B.C. to 206B.C.

Now back to the moving boxes. I heard a lot of people impressed by these moving boxes. Did you pay attention to the top of each of them is a Chinese character? It was the symbol of the first invented printer.

These boxes formed the Chinese character of "Harmony" at least twice. It was 2 different styles which showed the evolution of the Chinese character from old to modern Chinese.

And then the Chinese National Anthem. This was the song composed and sung during the Chinese Communist Revolution. The main theme of it is to move forward.

After that, there were 56 children represening 56 different Chinese ethnic groups. Were you surprised? China is just like the United States that there are so many ethnic groups. Although we call all of them as Chinese, they do have their own customs. Most of these ethnic groups were not under the Chinese rule until the end of 17th century. Before that, China was about half of the current size.

Remember there were several sailors in blue riding a big ship in the sea (shown on the LCD on top of the stadium)? That was the prime time of the Chinese maritime history in Ming dynasty by appointing Zheng He (in 1405) as diplomat, explorer and fleet admiral.

Last but not least, the group of Tai Chi practicer. In any countries where there are Chinese, especially in Asia, you always see a group of people pracising Tai Chi in the morning. It was believed that it is very good to your health. It is like the slow motion of Kung Fu.

I am sure if you are interested in learning more about Chinese culture or not, you enjoyed watching the opening ceremony as much as I did.

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