The Middle Kingdom
Thirty years ago a group called Wham made history by being the first Western pop group to perform in China. I was eighteen at the time and images of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley trekking The Great Wall of China captured my imagination. There is a wonderful article of a Beijing teenager’s account of his attending the Wham concert and he recalls being blown away but refraining from getting too excited. This was, for many, a first glimpse of Western culture.
One day, I promised myself, I would visit China.
In 2008 a spot opened up in our Shanghai office. I literally begged for the position despite not being able to speak a word of Chinese. This was the year of the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo. It was the year that China propelled itself onto the World stage. I had to be there.
I am guessing my perception of China may have been similar to yours. The images on TV were of cities filled with people on bicycles wearing the grey and green Cultural Revolution style clothes and cap. Little did I expect to experience a country of incredible and diverse landscapes and 56 ethnic minorities.
I leave you with a series of photos with little explanation. My hope is that these photos will entice you to visit The Middle Kingdom and experience all it has to offer. Just lose all pre-conceptions you may have, keep an open mind, and be prepared for a culture shock much like that Beijing teen had way back in 1985.
The Forbidden City
Tiger Leaping Gorge, Loushan
A rare white Yak
Impressions of Lijiang
The 1,000 Family Miao Village
A Miao lady
Baisha - The Last of the Gunner Tribes
Long Rice Terraces
The Hanging Temple at Cuiping Peak
A Shanxi nomad
The Chengdu Panda Reserve
Needless to say I treasure the memories I have had this last 8 years in China, and if any of you do get a chance, grab it like I did.
Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.
Photos copyright of Dean Owen, 2016 All rights reserved.
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