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. 

Who Listens to the Radio?

Morning peak hour, and we’re heading down through busy freeway traffic from Bribie Island to Coolangatta. The ABC radio channel crackles and croaks: morning radio and the Melbournian sounds of Jon Faine seem like a long way from here, both physically and culturally. Scanning through the options, we find an Indian channel that keeps us amused, with a pleasant mix of Bollywood and Indian classics interspersed with Hindi chatter, which lasts the duration or the journey. At one point, the commentator broke into English and simply said,

              Make the most of the day you have been given

This little phrase interrupted my thoughts. I stopped playing with the phone and began to reflect, as the hypnotic sounds of a Hindi melody transported me to another place, like meditation and a morning Raga.

Now a week later and I am back home, that little phrase still hangs in the air. I have found an online Indian radio station, Radio Garam Masala, to be a wonderful antidote to all the bad news, political posturing or mindless guffawing on the radio. Not knowing the language helps!

              Make the most of the day you have been given