Sean Corrie, Capitol Hill School-St. Paul
I was in China for about a week and a half and there was so much to do. The day after we landed in Beijing, we visited the Great Wall of China at Badaling. This section of the wall was built in 1504 in the Ming Dynasty. It is approximately 3,330 ft. above sea level. On the Great Wall there is a sign that says, “If you reached here you are a hero.”
The next place we visited on the journey was the Forbidden City. This place was where the Emperor lived along with many others. We met a tour guide and she showed us the meaning of all the buildings, for example, on each corner of the roof of a building, there are a certain amount of animals (1-10) 1 being least important, 10 being most important. The only building with 10 animals on it is the Emperor’s house. There were also certain rules like men can’t go into this area and women can’t leave this area etc.
Before we left for Shanghai we visited The Beijing Zoo. We got to see pandas, they were very shy, we managed to get a picture though.
I really enjoyed a traditional tea drinking ceremony that our tour guide took us to. It was fun how they made and drank tea.
I also got the opportunity to visit a Chinese factory with students from Minzu University and got to bake some specialty breads. It was fun to eat the bread I made. The factory made bread, pop and candy. I brought some candy for my classmates from here.
We visited the historical Summer Palace in Beijing and was told the corridor of paintings was the longest in Asia.
I met Dr. Xiuping Zhang of Minzu University and she introduced me to three kids from China, two in high school and one in college. They showed me around Minzu University’s campus and also toured me around their high school. It was so interesting that they had dorms for the high schoolers, probably because houses/apartments aren’t easy to buy because a lot of families are poor.
On the third last day of our trip, we boarded the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai, a five hour journey. Speeds got up to about 355 km/h it was amazing to actually be on it. As we got closer to Shanghai, we noticed there was heavier smog, or pollution, in the air probably because there were more factories running towards Shanghai. Shanghai looked so beautiful at night from across the river. We took the subway a lot in China and it was so much fun.
Also before we left back to Minnesota we stopped by a Catholic church. It was fun to visit a Catholic Church in China because there is a small Christian presence in China .
The food was very different than the U.S, they laid the food on a circular turntable, and when you wanted something you turned the table until it got to you. Dr. Zhang and her family treated us to Mongolian food. It was a beautiful place with live Mongolian music.
It was amazing to be able to go and see how their culture worked and just how different it was from our life back home. I think America should build good friendships with China. I hope to travel back there one day.