The same geographical influences we talked about yesterday focusing on Beijing cuisine are also felt in a melting pot of world culture that provide a feast all its own on almost every street corner, park, tourism site and Olympic venue.
The Olympic Cultural Festival coincides with sport competition. Twenty-four live sites have performing groups from every continent singing, dancing and displaying their native costumes.
What’s most amazing, however, is that China, with all of its shared border neighbors, actually could keep all of the live sites and venues entertained all by themselves.
In one location, 30 small cabins have been set up to showcase the cultural heritage of of each province and region. From imperial settings of the Qing Dynasty Palace to Peking Opera, acrobats and, of course, martial arts and China’s great art and folk handicraft.
Calligraphy, ink paintings and woodblock prints are as coveted for keepsakes as Olympic souvenirs from these games. There are even inpromptu Chinese language lessons to learn basic communication while in Beijing. Which reminds me, I’m late for mine! Zai jian (good-bye) for now!