It was an honor to be invited as one of the foreign guests for the 2018 Silk Road Rediscovery Tour of Beijing – Culture Chapter.
The silk road rediscovery tour was arranged for 3 days to show the guests different aspects of Beijing each day. I have lived in Beijing for five years and have always been fond of ancient China and its culture, arts, customs and traditions. The tour was planned in such a way that we got the opportunity to see and feel both the ancient and modern China. Our tour started with the visit to the Capital Museum. The architecture of the museum was fabulous and there we came across the ancient Chinese tradition and customs. I was amazed to see the ancient printing technique at Rongbaozhai. Paper making and printing techniques are two of the four great inventions of ancient China. It is magnificent to have such techniques in ancient times. From this we can see China was already an innovative country in the old times. I like the concept of the Dashilanr Beijing Fun - the place is a hybrid of the ancient and modern China at the heart of Beijing where one could get the glimpses of ancient china and its culture with a modern touch. Riding the centuries-old “Dangdang Tram" on Qianmen Street and taking a walk along Sanlihe River observing the Hutongs and greenery was a great experience for us. We had fun visiting Yuetan Inheritance Club where we saw the different intangible cultural heritages of China and participated in a workshop to draw and produce Beijing traditional handicraft “Rabbit God”.
Caption: Nepali art gallery curator Bhusan Kayastha is making Beijing traditional handicraft "Rabbit God" [Photo by Li Shenglan]
The second day started early morning. On this cold autumn day, we went to Tiananmen Square to watch the national flag raising ceremony. There were thousands of people around the square eagerly waiting for the ceremony. The parading national army brought the national flag of China to Tiananmen Square. The red flag with five stars on it was rising high accompanied by the Chinese national anthem with the Great Hall of the People in the background. It was such an ecstatic moment! I could not describe my feelings in words but I felt very good in my heart. I saw the patriotism on people's faces around the square watching their flag being raised high with the wind. Then we visited Zhongshan Park. Everyone was happy to enjoy and take photographs with the golden autumn atmosphere in the park. I love the autumn and I think this is the best time to visit Beijing. We visited the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) – the highest hall of performing arts in China. We were astonished by its design and architecture. As we made our entrance, I could feel the shadow of the water in the ground as we were walking below the huge artificial lake above us. I have been to many great opera theatres but I have never seen anything as huge and beautiful as the NCPA of Beijing. Then we visited Chaoyang Cultural Museum, the Capital Library and Beijing Huguang Guild Hall and enjoyed the famous “Peking Opera” performance from Fenglei Troupe in the evening.
Caption: National flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square, Beijing [Photo by Bhusan]
Caption: The robot dance at Beijing Exhibition Centre of the Cultural and Creative Industries (left) and autumn scenery at Zhongshan Park (right) [Photo by Bhusan]
The last day started with the visit to Beijing Exhibition Centre of the Cultural and Creative Industries. This place is truly a cultural innovation center as it combines Chinese arts, culture and technology to create something new and interesting for all age groups. We also saw a dance by robot during the visit - everyone was amazed with its performance. Then we went to Qinglong Cultural Business Street to learn about China's first comprehensive, open and culturally innovative industrial park. We also visited a design studio operated by foreigners in Beijing. After lunch, we headed our way to Tongzhou district to visit Songzhuang Cultural Creative Industry Cluster Zone. This is such a huge area planned for the development of arts and culture in Beijing with many exhibition halls and art galleries. I saw a little boy taking part in the clay workshop and making his own clay cup in one of the galleries. I am sure these kinds of projects will give birth to and inspire many artists and will provide a platform to explore their creativity. At the end of the day, We tried the traditional silk scarf making art in the silk museum and visited Songzhuang Literature Museum of Contemporary Art.
Caption: Art exhibition [Photo by Bhusan]
Food culture is very rich and important in China. Different parts of China offer different flavors and varieties of food. Even after five years, I am exploring new dishes with time. These three days we tasted various varieties of Chinese food in several time-honored Chinese restaurants.
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