I just stumbled onto a recent post about Libo, in the extreme south of Guizhou. It is a minority section of Guizhou and is advertised as the most beautiful county in China. This is a Youtube video so it requires a VPN if you are in China. I was invited to visit Libo and decided to do a search on the internet . . .
Ray Mahoney, a friend of mine, was recently diagnosed with TB. His story can be seen online TB In China and
at http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTI4NDE4NjU5Mg==.html?from=y1.7-2 and
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g7q3ujwp7efzgip/TB_In_China.flv?dl=0 . Ray has about 20 years of experience as a foreigner in China, and I have about eight or ten. We have learned a lot that we didn’t know about what happens when medical attention is needed. We have learned about deportation when an infectious disease is present, and the quarantine policies. This video highlights the issues, and as I write, the issues for Ray remain unresolved.
The Guizhou Wine Expo had a promotional video detailing the attractions of Guizhou. I captured part of it on my cell phone camera. Then I pulled out an old video from when I visited the Miao countryside. The song of the Miao Women when they ask you to drink their sweet rice wine is really extraordinary, and in no way exaggerated by the promotional video. I’ve added a couple clips . . .
Tourism is intermixed with the Guizhou Wine culture and Miao Minority People’s culture. Sometimes at dinners in minority villages ladies will serve a sweet rice wine. It is accompanied with songs and almost a force-feeding of the wine. It all evolved into what we call (on tourguizhou.net) the alco-tourism:
‘Happy’ in Guiyang 贵阳 -Hualin 贵阳华麟中学 Summer camp at Meijia 贵阳美加国际学校 Guiyang American-Canadian International School
“Happy” in Guiyang uploaded at “http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzU2NjI1ODAw.html”
“Happy” is a 2013 song by American singer and producer Pharrell Williams from Despicable Me 2. The original video spawned many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities throughout the world dance to the song. Those videos are usually called “Pharrell Williams – Happy – We Are from [name of the city]”. As of May 2014, more than 1,500 videos had been created. From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_(Pharrell_Williams_song)
for versions of this song uploaded on Chinese website Youku see: http://www.soku.com/search_video/q_Happy%20pharrell
Forest Park is one of the more beautiful parks in Guiyang. The central feature of this park is the tomb of Dr. Guy Courtney.
November 7, 2013 was the Sports Day across China, with regular classes dismissed and a chance for a day off for foreign teachers. Teachers have weird days off here in China, even more than in the USA, but that is another subject. I took the opportunity to visit Forest Park, southeast of Guiyang. It is a park-like atmosphere in a forest setting. 🙂 The real reason for my visit, rather than just getting fresh air on a beautiful day, was to visit the memorial tomb of Doctor Guy Courtney.
The history of China is rich. The contacts with our western democracies haven’t always been positive. In the 1800s China fought and lost two “Opium Wars” with the British Empire, the result of which was that the British East India Company got the right to sell opium freely in China, a very profitable business indeed.
Chinese courts had no jurisdiction over foreigners committing crimes in China, who had to be tried in a European appointed court. The Taiping Rebellion, with millions of Chinese killed, was also inspired by the western missionaries seeking to get a more Christian style Chinese government. Westerners eventually were supportive of the Manchu government due to treaty concessions to Europe following the Second Opium War. After that, Europe and the west really had nothing to gain by a regime change. American and British citizen forces eventually defended the Manchu Dynasty in Shanghai, defeating the Taiping Rebellion. (See: http://taipingrebellion.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Rebellion, and http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/taiping-rebellion.html) .
Then the US became more active in Asia by winning the Philippines from Spain in 1899 and winning the war with Japan in WWII. The peace treaty ending WWII was challenged by Maoist China in Korea. After China’s massive losses in Korea on top of the other historical irritants, one might think that westerners would not be particularly welcomed in China. That is why I was so surprised when I saw the tomb of Dr. Courtney (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/91/a3510091.shtml).
The Japanese waged biological warfare against the Chinese by trying to induce a pandemic in the population (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731#Canton). This apparently took place in Guiyang as well. The tombstone of Dr. Guy Courtney was established in September 1985 by the Guiyang government and reads as follows:
This memorial is in memory of Dr. Guy Courtney, a British woman doctor who came in support of the Chinese war of resistance against Japan in 1941. Dr. Courtney died at her post in 1942 while working to prevent and cure the diseases caused by the germ warfare waged by the Japanese.
Erected by the Guiyang People’s Municipal Government September, 1985. This memorial day of the international 40th anniversary of victory over fascism. http://jds.cass.cn/Item/1641.aspx
In China, the term “waijiao” denotes “diplomatic relations” or “foreign teachers” . These are so closely related that it is very difficult for me not to get them mixed up. Chinese is very easy in one way, you don’t have so many sounds to learn. You just have to keep track of the tones . . . In this case: wai4jiao1 and wai4jiao4 (diplomatic relations and foreign teacher respectively).
Incidentally, if you are a student of the tones, you will note a difference between what was said, what was written, and what you will find in a Chinese/English dictionary. While Chinese seem to have no trouble understanding each other, they often disagree on tones and stroke order.
Tied together by shots of a girl from a Guizhou minority rural background who has achieved success and come back to Guiyang (yeah, kinda corny), with a secondary story of some high living businessmen. But many video segments are well filmed. Narration is in Chinese with well done English subtitles.