Archive for the ‘Chinese Culture’ Category

My Parents Live a Happy Retirement Life

Saturday, January 1st, 2011
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I start the first day of the new year 2011 with seeing my advanced parents in Hangzhou. Now they live in a Gan Xiu Suo (government supported cadre sanatorium), a unit catering for high ranking officers sponsored by Zhejiang Provinicial Military Subarea.
 
All these retired cadres in Gan Xiu Suo joined the army before in 1949. Like other people in Gan Xiu Suo in other places in China,  they are a special group of retired veterans who enjoy special care from the government – free medical care, and all kinds of life assistance. In a word, all these retired officers are totally taked care by the government for their contribution in establishing the People’ Republic of China in 1949.
 
In China, there is a special term “Li Xiu Gan Bu” ( Retired Military Cadres  or Retired Cadres ) coined to depict these retired officers or officials who took part in the army or so called China revolution before the year 1949. “Li Xiu Gan Bu” will become history with these “Li Xiu Gan Bu” officers or officials decreasing with the years to come. So these “Li Xiu Gab Bu” are a special group of people existing at the special period of time in China.
 
My father joined the Liberation Army at the age of 12 in 1946 during the the Liberation War (Civi War: 1945-1949). Actually at the age of 12, my father knew little about the revolution and the civil war itself. He joined the army mainly becuase he wanted her mother to take care of him. His mother ( my grandmother ) was a veteran revolutionist, joining the Xi Si Jun (New Fourth Army) during the anti-Japanese War ( 1937-1945). After 1945 with the civil war (1945-1949) coming, to avoid the possible persecution by the Guomingdang, she had to take her only son ( my father ) to the army following her.
 
After the liberation in 1949, sponsored by the army, my father went to Su Cheng Gao Zhong (a special speedy high school) to make up his learning needed for a high school student. After graduation, the army again sent him for a 9-year medical study in Zhejiang Medical University in Hangzhou.
 
Later he became a army doctor in a military hospital. His major was orthopaedics. My father as a smart man with optimistic personalty. Later he became a very famous orthopaedic doctor in the military. He started as a doctor, then director and the head of the army hospital with the rank of senior colonel. He retired at the age of 60 in 1994.
 
So his whole working life was given to the army and the party.
 
16 years have passed since my parents started their retirement life. They enjoy the present life very much, doing daily morning exercises, going online to touch the society, reading, writing and the most highlight life is talking with their sons and grandsons…
 
I have a wish, a very big wish that they can live a much longer life, healthy and optimistic. They give us a feeling of “Returning Home”, a home for us to reurn. “Home” is a key factor to keep us going on despite of the society teemed with immoral and too much material things in the ever competitive world for a living.
  

My Parents shooting at the dinner gathering Jan 01, 2011

With my parents

Roundest Moon on the day after Moon Day

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
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Today is September 23, one day after Mid-Autumn Festival ( or Moon Day ). There is a Chinese saying goes that the 16th day’s moon is rounder and brighter than the 15th’s of the eighth month according to Chinese lunar year. It is said that this phenomenon is scientifically reaffirmed.
 
As uaual, I walked home after day’s office work. In the midldle of the flyover at Guangjumen, I looked eastward and came across a brighter and rounder moon hanging in the sky against the backdrop of the buildings below. It is a amazing sight. I mechanically took out my camera and  grabbed several pictures of the full moon. I now choose one of them for you to share the beautiful moon in Beijing on the 16th day of eighth month in the lunar year of 2010.

Moon Festival, Moon Day 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
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What a happy day today! Azure sky, comfy weather, and sweet mooncakes, all just on a single day – Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival September 22, 2010.
 
The name of Mid-Autumn Festival is a little bit too official, I’d like call it moon festival or mooncake day. It is the second most important festival in China, just after Spring Festival, Chinese Lunar New Year  ( similar to Christmas in the west ).
 
The exact date of Mid-Autumn Festival is set on the fifteenth day of the eighth month according to Chinese lunar calendar, which falls on the changeable dates within early September and early October in the Gregorian calendar. The next 5 years’ Mid-Autumn occurs on the following days:
2011: September 12
2012: September 30
2013: September 19
2014: September 8
2015: September 27
 
Mid-Autumn Day is similar to Thanksgiving Day in the United States and Canada, a time for family reunion. People come

Share the beauty of this graceful moonlight, even thousands miles apart

home, enjoying being together. This year, though separated with our only son in Ottawa and aged parents in Hangzhou , we don’t feel lonely in Beijing with the bright and full moon hanging high in the sky linking all of us as a Chinese proverb goes “Wish us a long life so as to share the beauty of this graceful moonlight, even thousands miles apart.. “.

 

The main builings( Hall of Dispelling Clouds and Tower of Buddhist Incense ) perched on the hill north of the lake I take on the ferry dragon boat in the middle of Kunming Lake.

For me, today is still a working day. As usual, I’m in office at 8:00am. But not for long, I feel like an ant sitting on a hotpot, not because of the moon day today, but the unusually and extremely fine day – sunny and blue sky! I can sit no longer, go down the stairs to the underground parking lot and merrily drive my car directly to Summer Palace  for photographing.

 
Though having been toSummer Palace  for several times before, I have never seen it under a blue sky. So today I have my dream come true. Like a hungry “beggar”, in two hours, I take over three hundreds pictures there! I choose two of these photos for you to share for celebrate the moon day today.
 
After a sumptuous supper, we habitually open a box of mooncakes with a rich variety of

A huge box of mooncakes produced by Daoxiangcun

 

 fillings with sweetened red bean paste, lotus seeds, eggs… Monncakes with lotus and eggs are my favorites. There are a huge choices of mooncakes on the mooncake market. We usually favor the mooncakes produced by the century-old traditional the time-honored Daoxiangcun Foodstuffs Store. The store used to produce light snack served to the royal family or governmental officials in the Qing Dynasty.

 
Walking after supper is one of my daily activities and today is no exception especially with my stomach loaded with rich and oily mooncakes. My walking hangout is Ming Dynasty Wall Relics Park, not far from my housing area. On this special evening, I take my camera with me for possible good shots. I walk along the ancient city wall under the full moon in a soft breeze. The moon tohight is the fullest and roundest in my memory album. I can’t help taking some pictures of the full moon.
 
At the eastern tip of the city wall area, you find some local kite fliers fly glittering kites with beautiful lit tails! Kite flying

Local kite fliers fly glittering kites

 originated as a Chinese tradition to mark the beginning of spring. Now kite flying is very popular among Beijingers with lots of innovations.

 
The Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park was built on the one- kilometer-long ruins of ancient Beijing city walls, it was open to the public in May 2002. The rebuilding of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) City Wall Relics Park is part of the Chinese capital’s effort to protect its historical relics.