Order and Harmony in China. Retrospective Travel/4

In China, where everyday life is busy, complex and often crowded, order creates harmony. It enables Chinese life to function smoothly. Orderliness can be seen in the cleanliness of the streets, the hygiene applied to food preparation and the public behaviour of Chinese people. The ancient principles of Confucianism,  a philosophical system of norms and propriety that determine how a person should act in everyday life, underlies many aspects of Chinese modern society. Later overlays include the philosophical and religions values of Buddhism and Taoism, along with the modern political system of Communism. You can see these values at work in your travels throughout China, not just in grand temples or fine restaurants, ancient walled pedestrian towns, or beautiful calligraphy and design, but also in ordinary everyday things- in the placement of a small straw broom, in the tiered arrangement of bamboo steaming baskets in a busy take away street stall, or in the beautiful designs on front doors. 

Steaming baskets, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

Street recycling containers and below, not a leaf out of place. Around Kunming, Yunan Province, China.

Colourful street bollards, Kunming

Photos from travels in China, August 2015. Adapted from my post of June, 2017. More virtual trips to China will be aired this month as I never really did write much at the time. That was a busy 4 week schedule, travelling by train through Yunnan Province, and then with friends through Sichuan province by car, leaving little time for writing. 

8 thoughts on “Order and Harmony in China. Retrospective Travel/4”

  1. Your impression of “hygiene applied to food preparation” in China is interesting. I have not been there, but a Chinese-American friend who traveled widely there told me that he found the food prep hygiene in China appalling. He described some of the specific things that worried him, espeically in markets if I recall (this was a few years ago). And said he was very careful and didn’t eat a lot of the food.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking forward to reading further on China… interesting history, culture and local food which has contributed much to ours. I could express my disappointment with negative attitudes past & present of some to China, but being positive and appreciating beautiful representations such as you offer, accomplishes much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dale for your thoughtful and balanced comment. One of the reasons I would like to write a little more often about China is to counter the current emerging xenophobic attitudes of those who know little about it. Starting with cleanliness. I was truely in awe with this, I don’t think I would have written about it if it wasn’t so noticeable. But given the size of the population, street order and food hygiene is of paramount value. One of the features of xenophobic attitudes in the past, at least in Australia, was to focus on hygiene and cleanliness. All of the anti- Asian/Chinese posters pick up this first. with accusations of ‘Dirty and Unclean’ featured vividly as fear mongering tactics and propaganda ( see the posters from the WAP era) I’m afraid that since the emergence of the virus, supposedly emanating from Wuhan, this kind of xenophobia is back with a vengeance. This isn’t helped by the idiotic and cretinous pronouncements by the American president.

      Mr Tranquillo, husband and best friend, worked for one month at a time on 6 occasions in Wuhan throughout the 1990s, lecturing in Contract Law at the University of Wuhan as part of a legal exchange with the RMIT University. His accommodation was close to the Wuhan market. He often bought food there and when dining in restaurants, the chef would often run down to that fish market for fresh fish for his order. No one in China. We also found this when travelling with Chinese friends in 2015. The food was so fresh and really tasty.
      There are many issues about China that we could highlight- human rights especially, but then many countries have an appalling record in this field, or are deficient in other ways, or simply hide injustice through institutionalised racism.
      I think the only way we can appreciate and accept the re-emergence of China as a world leader is to study its history, culture, language and value systems.
      Sorry for the long rave Dale. Just in the mood now to go and read some Tang Dynasty poetry while waiting for the bread to ferment. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for pics of mundane everyday things. This enriches the impression of China that is now dominated by either a downright hateful rejection of all things Chinese or (usually in response to this) an over-celebration. Would love to see more realistic images of China.

    Liked by 1 person

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