Around the World With the ArvaMonts

China - Xi'an

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Xi'an has 8 million inhabitants, in addition to 6000 Terracotta Soldiers and an 8000 year old village called Banpo! 


Random thought:  If every couple has only one child, then - there can be no sibling rivalry

                                                                                 - the word for cousin becomes meaningless

                                                                                 - the family hand-me-down thing falls apart  


We also noticed an interesting toilet training technique.  They put their toddlers into pants that are completely missing the crotch, so their bums hang out!  Then when they have to go all they need to do is crouch down and there is no clothing in the way.  I don't think this technique would be appreciated in the US...for more than one reason! 


Banpo - the 8000 Year Old Village


This is a fascinating archeological site, found by a farmer who encountered some pottery while digging in his fields.  This was a small village that seemed to have specialized in producing ceramics.  There were three kilns found in the village, along with a few dozen houses.  Since they made ceramics, they left behind something for archeologists to study.  Also, they drew and wrote on their ceramics!  So there is a kind of historical record!  The first thing Tasha noticed was that the writing on the pots had a runic feel to them.  We learned later that it is believed that the people who lived in this part of China were the ones who later traveled to Europe, eventually settling in Hungary and Finland.  This is why these two countries have languages that are so similar to one another, yet so very different from other European languages! 


The Ceramic Studio


We visited a studio dedicated to the making of replica Terracotta Warriors.  Unfortunately, unlike the real thing, where no two faces are alike, here they copy only their favorite 5 or 6 warriors.




The Site of the Terra Cotta Warriors


Once upon a time, a long long time ago (about 2200 years ago) there lived a king who ruled all of China.  His name was Qin Shihuang and he was a very powerful emperor!  He wished to be protected from his enemies not just in life, but also in death.  So he had built not only a tomb, but a short distance away, an army of 6000 men all prepared for battle!  Each of these men was cast in clay, and set standing guard in just the right place.  He had cavalry and infantry and privates and generals. 


One day in 1974 a couple of farmers were digging a well, and what should they find but a part of a terracotta warrior!  They reported their find to the authorities, and the archeologists came in to find this:



Pit number 5


The Military Presence


As in Guilin and Shanghai, we were very aware of the military.  They were everywhere around Xi'an.  On the way to the Terracotta Soldiers site we passed a huge base.  When they move as a group, it is always in step!  In Guilin we watched the fighter jets.  In Beijing it was mostly foot soldiers guarding sites. 

The Bell Tower



The Large Goose Pagoda


Unfortunately, once you have seen a few pagodas, they all start to look the same...  Initially we didn't even choose any photos, but then in the interest of our readers, we went back and chose a few representative photos.


Around Town



From Xi'an we headed for China's capital and the 2008 Olympic host city, Beijing.


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Last modified: 06/13/08