Looking back at my journey:
For me, connecting with the ancestors is becoming a very important issue.
Not only the faraway mainland china connection, but also the more recent chinese diaspora to Java and Holland.
Often I feel on a gut-level during a meeting with somebody with these same roots: we are related, a few hunderd years ago…
The more I research on the shamanic roots of the chinese way of living, the more I discover:
chinese ancestor worship, gongfu (animal-styles, bagua), fengshui, divination (yi jing).
Fragments of my diary: China Journey august 2007:
At this moment I’m in Chongqing, the middle of china.
Already had a intense time in Shanghai-Yangtze river-Fengjie, later on I will visit Xian and Beijing.
Many things here remind me of Indonesia: the way people walk, the smells on the street, the shops, the slums.
I often have to explain that I do not speak chinese, but that my ancestors came from here.
Shanghai is weird: the contrast between sf and slum is great.
On the Yangtze I realised how this river is connected to chinese history. The great dam has already caused whole villages being displaced to outer provinces like Tibet and Xinjiang, imagine the suffering of the farmers of the displaced people but also on the receiving end in the outer provinces who have to cope with new invaders.
Many old ways are being destroyed in the name of progress.
At the dam I touched mother earth in a rock garden, it made me cry.
At Fengjie, city of ghosts, made for all the spirits from china, I realised how much has been destroyed by the cultural revolution.
Chongching is also very large and polluted, my stay here will be short.
I am looking forward to visit Xian, the tomb of the first emperor.
And of course in Beijing I will visit the great wall and TianAnMen square.
I hope to be back safe and well during Lammas…
Terracotta army in the First Emperors’ tomb.
He was a real monster. Yeah, he ‘pacified’ China, but at the cost of many lives.
The Great Mosque of the Hui minority, fascinating to see all kinds of mythic creatures (like dragons etc) depicted despite the Muslim ban on depicting creatures.
Somewhere during the Tang-dynasty the Hui were invited in as mercenary troops to surpress peasant revolts, but now the Muslims are being distrusted as a possible source of terrorism.
Well, the Uighur in Xinjiang and Kazakhstan have cause to rebel against the pressure to be ‘assimilated’ as the Tibetans.
TianAnMen! Standing here, realising how the students’ movement was put down with tanks and guns,moves me to tears.
Weird to realize, that our guide (age 27) has never seen the pictures of that drama.
I brought a origami whitecrane all the way to Holland to here, originally to place it somewhere on this square to honour the fallen, but it was too crowded, so I gave it to our guide with the words: ‘in remembrance of the students that died, remember!’
Later on we had a tour through a Hutong, another ancient way of living that’s disappearing in the name of progress & profit: a network of old alleys & houses that form small downtown communities around a common well. The guide showed us a model-family (state-approved on show for tourists of course) who had many modern-day thingies like tv, refrigerator, dvd-player, piano; receiving tourists must be very profitable!.
Met some nice shopkeepers: one of them was very delighted to hear that my ancestors came from her home province Fujien, she was able to tell me that the dialect of my predecessors is still common in the area of the MinNan, another piece of the puzzle found!
Back home again: unpacking, cleaning myself & my stuff, opening my mailbox, calling friends.
Feels like I need to see some dear friends soon to reconnect to this land again!
When I was in china, I recoqnized many things I also saw in Java: the way people dress & move, the smells, the food, the housings. I never realised the great influence of the oversea chinese on the Javanese culture!”