The dragon is sometimes used as the national emblem of China in the West. We are told:
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and Chinese folklore. The dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles, fish, and imaginary creatures, but they are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. In yin and yangterminology, a dragon is yang and complements a yin fenghuang (“Chinese phoenix”).
Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it. With this, the Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength
I was visiting the other day with a fellow blogger and I got to thinking about my not so recent, trip to China in 2008. The question was posed….
How did you get started blogging?
I got started blogging in 2008 when my employer in Oklahoma sent a contingent on a trip to China to sign a cooperative agreement with Chuxiong Normal University (CNU). I wanted to provide a live narrative of our trip so I explored several options and settled on using Ning as a platform to write a blog and post pictures. I am not sure I really had any plans beyond documenting the trip, but I have been jotting down stuff that I have been doing and telling a few stories in a public forum ever since. The narrative of that trip is a great reminder to me of the many great friends and experiences I had during my time at Western Oklahoma State College. I was on the trip to help the institution explore technological options for video conferencing / sharing and we did, in fact do a video call from China back to my office in Oklahoma. One of my fellow travelers, Denise Phelan wrote in her journal on June 18, 2008
We also met with the Distance & Information Center, where Kent was in his element. It seems that “computer” is a universal language.
For the techies reading this we connected from a MacBook Pro (shown below) running an open source H.323 client called XMeeting.
That particular video conference was one of the coolest tech experiences of my educational career. Live interactive video from a place that is really a mystery to most Americans. My recent conversation about creating that blog did jog several other memories from that trip.
One of our observations from that trip was that even though this was a more rural part of China that infrastructure of all kinds was being built at a dizzying pace. Most of the roads were new and construction was occurring everywhere we went. CNU was building a new 20,000 seat arena. The fabulous hotel we stayed at in Chuxiong had been a rice paddy only a few years earlier. All of the signage was in Chinese and English. Someone even noted that in contrast to the dead and dying main streets many of us from rural America see lining our main streets that shop after shop lined the streets of the cities we visited. Scaffolding was made of bamboo and throughout our 15 day adventure, we only saw one tractor. While reliving a few of these adventures during this conversation I commented that several of the English faculty at CNU who had visited Oklahoma in the 2005ish time range did not have cars when they first came to Oklahoma but nearly all of them had cars by the time we visited in 2008 the following comment was made,
Alot of people don’t realize how rapidly China grew during that time frame
I said no they don’t. We were not in Bejing or one of the other larger cities but rather the Yunnan, one of the more rural portions of the country. That memory of new infrastructure, rapid growth and all of the local shops is what spawned the title for this post…well that and the fact that I might never again have the opportunity to give something a Bruce Lee type movie title. I thought for this blog I would share a few more pics…yes never before released pics of some of the construction scenes we saw. Note that in these pictures you will see very little machinery. Here you go… and stay tuned for more…