The Chinese New Year In Bangkok!

Up periscope

From my side a winding creature fixed to the staff in my hand rose to peer over the masses. Glancing left then scanning to the right its small drum heart pattered as the weighted strings spun out and pelted its surface. The sound of rain droplets bouncing off a tin pot radiated from the dragon’s sway. It bobbed through a 360-degree turn then shook its head and zipped down to my side once more.

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World Music Celebration: March 21st

They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.

But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”

Some Chinese Etiquette

Pulling a case from his robe, Victory Jiaxiang Yu bowed as he held out his business card with both hands. I had remembered reading somewhere that business cards in China should be accepted with both hands so I did so awkwardly. I had to consciously tell myself not to automatically take his card casually with one hand.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation

Uncomfortably shifting my legs, for the tenth time I contemplated my decision to choose the floor over the chairs lining the sides. The mats surrounding the small table had seemed so inviting, and so exotic. The chairs in comparison had seemed to be placed there for those interested in the event, but not willing to fully immerse themselves. They’d seemed like crutches. They were cultural prisons, like always choosing a fork over a chopstick. In comparison, the mats had no restraints, no enclosures and, I would soon realize, no support.

I’d gleefully set myself down on a mat off to the right, savouring the feeling of freedom after being bound to a chair all morning. An hour in the novelty was gone and I found myself restlessly fidgeting. I had never stayed in a cross-legged position for this long before. My legs were falling asleep and my back was stiff from unfamiliar effort. Occasionally I wistfully eyed the chairs, longing to get over myself and rise to those thrones. Eyeing my fellow observers I noticed one woman, then another, unabashedly unfold their legs and stretch them before themselves. Inwardly relieved I followed suit, sighing in bliss as my legs were released. Content again I could once more take in the fascinating presentation before me. Continue reading “Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation”

Three International Movies

This week was a week of rest, Mid-semester Break according to the Thompson Rivers University calendar, so I used it to the fullest. Rather than go out and track down cultural events, I decided to be a couch potato and watch some internationally focused movies: My Name is Khan, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles and Waste Land. These three movies were played during the International Days festival at my university and I highly recommend them.

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International Days Showcase Part 2: Kamloops

Frantically scrabbling at my camera bag I dug out another SD card in something like two seconds flat. Deftly swapping the two cards, I made sure the old one was securely fastened in my bag before turning towards the stage again.

I was not even halfway through the show and I had taken almost 400 pictures. Yes. You read right, 400 photos and not even halfway through. I’m so thankful I knew enough about myself to bring another SD card, because more exciting scenes were coming up and I definitely didn’t want to miss the chance to share them. Continue reading “International Days Showcase Part 2: Kamloops”

International Days Showcase: Kamloops

Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.

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