Made in China
In September ZPiT PW spent 16 days dancing singing and sightseeing China. Its residents could experience the beauty of Polish folklore during concerts organized within festival as well as spontaneous street performances. We were welcomed with great enthusiasm, especially when we sang popular Chinese song. But let’s start with the beginning. Flight to Dubai. Our Ensemble started performing already on our way to the festival! On a huge city-like airport in Dubai we attracted attention of other travelers. After reaching Shanghai we were involved in a big dress rehearsal before the parade, which was supposed to be held the next day. 3 thousands performers from all over the world were involved in this project. We met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends.
Concert repertoire of our ensemble included the following dances: Żywiec, Śląsk, Kujawiak and Oberek. As a part of our rest we enjoyed watching Chinese artists performing acrobatically. In Shanghai we were able to enter the TV Tower with a beautiful view of the city skyline, whose main feature are numerous skyscrapers. In the evening we were walking, admiring the highlighted “sea” of buildings, we sang a popular song “Ta hai” with random passers-by. Other attractions in Shanghai were as following: a cruise on Huangpu River, visit in Jade Buddha Temple and visit at the museum of jade. This stone is highly valued, jewelry is made out of it; it is also credited with medical properties (good for eye and kidneys disorders). What is typical for the Chinese culture is that symbols and numbers are of great value. There are many superstitions: number 4 is believed to be unlucky – to such extent that in buildings there is floor no 3 and after that floor no 5. A very interesting place for girls was silk museum where we could see the process of creating, processing and decorating this noble material.
From Shanghai we went to the north to the city of Luoyang where we prepared for our next parade. After successful performances we had an opportunity to celebrate with other Polish teams: “Kalina” Folk Dance Group of AWF, Wroclaw, Wanda Kaniorowa Folk and Dance Ensemble from Lublin and Folk Artistic Ensemble “Promni” of SGGW, Warsaw. The prepared sightseeing program was very extensive. On our first day we visited Luoyang History Museum and Paper Art Museum in which we were able to make decorations ourselves. Longmen Grottoes (UNESCO World Heritage Site) are located in the neighborhood of the city. The statues of Buddha are curved with high accuracy in soft limestone. The number of Buddhas exceeds 142 thousands. It is a place of worship created about 400 AD. Continuing the trail of important historical places we visited White Horse Temple, the oldest Buddha Temple in China. Finally we reached Shaolin monastery, place famous for teaching traditional martial art of Kung-fu, which was presented to us by young monks.
Talking about Luoyang one cannot fail to mention dense smog that was constantly present above the city. The last stop during our tour was Beijing. We walked the Great Wall of China – symbol of China. It was the best attraction to the majority of us. The city itself resembles many European cities – lack of skyscrapers – characteristic for Chinese cities, low buildings prevail.
One of the last attractions was visit at Summer Palace of Empress Cixi, who spent money dedicated to modernization of Chinese Navy on development of the Palace. Tiananmen Square – known in the world as a place of bloody suppression of students’ demonstrations – is placed in the center of Beijing. Next we went to Forbidden City – seat of Chinese emperors. Great Wall of China With great mood, luggage of experiences and memories – we went on a return trip. This trip was – to all of us – a great adventure and a reward for all our efforts. What we took with is to China was enthusiasm. What we brought back are the priceless memories. I think that every participant will miss the atmosphere of the trip for a very long time.