Getting close to the Hundredth Year of Revolution (辛亥革命), and it’s getting every Chinese person excited for various reasons.
If you click on the link above at the very top, you’ll see a lot of pictures. Many of them I honestly find disturbing. First of all, the crowd of people at the Great Wall (萬里長城) aka “Chinese for the Maginot Line“. This wall has failed in its purpose to keep out foreign invaders from the North. Yet, it’s regarded as a national symbol now? China’s last dynasty, the Qing dynasty was ruled by Manchus, and the wall didn’t stop them from getting into China. In fact, part of the reason why the Ming dynasty fell was because they had spent so much money trying to protect themselves from these same people, they decided to rebuild this wall, despite its cost.
Reconstructing the Great Wall took away much needed funds from Admiral Zheng He (鄭和)‘s sea exploration. Keep in mind, this was all going on while the Japanese pirates (倭寇/わこう) were invading China’s coastlines, and the wall did nothing to deter this.
Utterly useless. The giant panda is a better national symbol.
Another pet peeve of mine, is seeing a picture of BeiJing’s WangfuJing (京王府井) Food Alley, which is part of an area that tries to maintain an ancient facade, has some guy holding a banner saying “Old BeiJing Spring Pancakes” (老北京春餅). Aside from the fact that they insist upon using simplifed Chinese characters, they also don’t know how to write in the right direction either. Traditionally, Chinese is written from top to bottom, starting from the upper right-hand corner, going down, and each column going left. If they wrote horizontally, it went from right to left. Although Spring Pancakes (春餅) are written top to bottom, the “Old BeiJing” (老北京) is written from left to right. If you want to fit the “ancient” motif, do it correctly! Same thing goes for the Ancient Palace Museum (故宮博物院) was re-written during one of the restorations from left to right as well. Sloppy work, folks!
Stop trying to invoke culture and history, if you can’t get it straight!