China

Kites, still flying

Just a quick picture as sign of life, while I grapple with too many pictures, too much work that should get done, and a general overload – and since the plan is to leave China after this semester, I can count the days until this semester and soon afterwards, my first long term-stay in China, ends…

Flying Kites at the Summer Palace

Old traditions are still around – such as this pastime of flying kites, and I am, as usual, of two minds at once:

It is one of those things which are so fascinating about “other” places, when they have different traditions and uphold them in the middle of rapid, oftentimes tumultuous, change towards modernity. A modernity, oftentimes, which seems only too recognizable to a Western European or American. Yet again, even these very things which seem to be modern are oftentimes different, and in more ways than one…

At the same time, while I wonder how to keep on studying culture(s), remain involved with China, I notice all the stronger how often traditions and cultural peculiarities of one’s “own” culture are actually around, just as well, and typically just as peculiar (except, as it always goes with culture, to the people who live within said culture and are oftentimes quite unable to recognize that what they do is not simply normal, but only normal to them…).

Once you have a mirror held up to you, you may realize that. Sometimes. Making the experience understandable to others, learning something sensible from it, that’s a different matter yet again, though…

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