China Group: Last day in the village!

The girls had another busy day today and, since this is their last night in the village, I’m sending a quick note, instead of our usual blogging team.

Today started with a chance to talk about Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism with Dragons Instructor Eric who talked about the parable in which the three masters taste vinegar and Confucius finds it sour, Buddha bitter, and Lao Zi sweet, as an example of the differences between the three philosophies/religions. After, they had a visit from Chung-Ming, a Han academic who has been living in the village for two years and studying the Naxi people. Chung-Ming discussed Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” and how China’s new economy is creating a similar challenge for the Naxi people – not only are they loosing touch with their traditional ways, but the local economy has become overly dependent on tourism and commerce. The lake, for instance, has been dammed, destroying the spillway system and making at least two species of fish extinct. The Naxi in the village are losing some of their people’s connection to the earth and to their community as they chase money, like so much of urban China. Although both lectures were fascinating, the morning was chilly and everyone welcomed the chance to move around in the afternoon.

After lunch with their host families, the girls returned to talk with Lily (our host in the village) and her mother; afterwards, they returned to their host families to learn how to create a signature dish which each of them brought for dinner in the evening, followed by a dance party with their host families around a campfire in the courtyard!

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