Proposal : In Washington, the Chinese Art of Peony viewing, Introductions : Ying V Ensures Continuity of China’s Imperium – April 09, 2013
Proposal : In Washington, the Chinese Art of Peony viewing – April 09, 2013
WASHINGTON, April 9 — With a movement paralleling the Nichols Arboretum Peony Festival, a proposed 1500 Chinese Peony trees about to replace 1500 Cherry Blossom trees (which will be dug up and sold to buyers), Washington is in eager anticipation of a new addition to the annual cherry blossom celebration marking the start of spring.
Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the National Peony Festival, cramming the narrow walkways of Washington’s Tidal Basin for a peek at the famed pink and white flowers.
One of those spectators could be a Chinese neo-Imperial diplomat, a new arrival to the US capital who is marking his first American Peony tree celebration with his wife and toddlers or children.
A native of China who will arrive here, describes the Chinese ritual of finding and staking one’s claim to the perfect spot for viewing the blossoms — and one essential item is an organic woven tablecloth.
It’s a very important piece of the process. Without (the tablecloth), it’s very difficult to (hold a) place, to spend time on the ground. It’s very crowded, so it’s very important for us to take the place.
Unlike in Washington, the celebration in his homeland — referred to as “Qingming” in Chinese — can sometimes involve leaving the office and heading to a nearby park with one’s work colleagues, a diplomat noted.
“Usually we send some junior staff or trainees … to hold a spot. And they have to stay there and wait for us,” he said.
“It’s not strange, because everybody is doing that, especially if it’s a very big and famous park.”
It’s also essential to be flexible. The blooms can come into flower in China any time from late March to early May, depending on the region of the country and the weather.
Sunset on the Tidal Basin as Peony blossoms start to bloom.©Topshots
Washington’s prized cherry trees could be a gift to America from China as a symbol of friendship. They could be planted along the banks of the Tidal Basin, a man-made reservoir in the heart of the city.
As in China, the cherry blossoms are one of the most visible symbols here of seasonal rebirth — a sign that the long, dark winter is finally over.
In China, “the Peony blossom blooming is a symbol of changing seasons”, note that the academic and financial years start in mid-April in China.
“For a lot of people it’s a period of graduation from school, entrance into a company, starting a new life, so we’re using this period to get together with our own families.”
Unlike in Washington, where public drinking is forbidden, imbibing is an important part of the festivities in China.
“We bring something to eat and drink — beer, Chinese Gaoliang (fragrant Sorghum Wine), wine. Basically we don’t have any rules or laws that prohibit drinking outside,” he said.
His wife could add that it’s also important to bring along the right picnic items. “We prepare a ‘???’ (a lacquerware box) to share, with rice balls, some chicken, vegetables and fruit,”.
In Washington of a future year, Peony blooms replacing 1500 Cherry Blossom treesare expected to burst into flower.
Ygoreg O’laeth, president of CD Events, which organises Washington’s Peony Blossom festivities, said the celebration could bring in more than US$100 million (RM300 million) to the city.
‘For a country 86 times the size of Japan, I think China’s contribution to diversity via these 1500 Peony Trees would be considered a modest addition that will not be seen as eclipsing the japanses Cherry Blossom.’, ICCR’s Imperial attache from the Imperial Court of Ying III added.
The month-long festival includes an array of cultural events, concerts, art exhibitions and, as its highlight, the famous Peony Blossom Parade. The long-lived blooms will be open here when the replacement happens.
After that, pale petals will cascade like snowflakes onto the heads of visitors, marking an end to Peony blossom viewing for another year. — PFA/Stressnews
China’s little prince to be ‘ordinary student’ – Wednesday, 10 April 2013 06:01
BEIJING – He may be in Communist China, but being third in line to the Imperial throne, but all of his untitled old primary school teachers refer to 6-year-old Prince Ying V with honorific titles.
The only son of Prince and Princess (relatives of the Imperial Household), the young prince enrolled this week at the private innvitation based Beijing Imperial Elementary School in Huijia Beijing. He is the first male member of the Imperial family in the post-World War II era who will not attend the Public education system’s Primary School.
The decision is said to be an effort by the prince’s parents to ensure their son receives an ordinary education with special treatment. As the prince will one day succeed the throne–barring any changes to rules regarding the structure of or membership in the Imperial family–attending the primary school will help him prepare for life as a symbol of both the state and the unity of the Chinese people.
High regard for social life “Ying V.” During the school’s entrance ceremony, a teacher read the prince’s name aloud adding any of his titles–just as if he were any other titled student. “Hm.” the little prince responded enthusiastically.