Journals from NUR 398 Health Care in China
2008-01-21 A Visit to Ancient China
Laura and Theresa like ancient warriors!
Ni hao! We woke up early this morning to drive to the herbal market where local pharmacies purchase supplies for their traditional Chinese remedies. Immediately we were greeted with dried lizards on skewers and tiger balm, which we were told would make us smarter. There were also dried dog testicles and various roots from which to choose. As we continued down the aisles, we found rows and rows of burlap sacks overflowing with miscellaneous dried items, such as flowers, berries, fungi, and other mysterious goodies. Tiny bucket-sized coal heaters burned every few feet, warming the hands of the shop owners and polluting the air.
We were all excited for our next stop, which is often recognized as the Eighth Wonder of the World: the Terra Cotta Warriors. The last emperor of the Qin Dynasty spent the last 40 years of his life constructing a massive memorial to himself, which included an army of 8,000 warriors to protect him in the afterlife. Though they were destroyed by marauding armies after the end of the Qin Dynasty, many of the Terra Cotta Warriors have been painstakingly reconstructed in recent years. The three pits of soldiers that have been excavated were absolutely incredible. Each soldier has a different face, and they have been returned to their original battle formations.
On our way back to the city center of Xian, we stopped to visit a rural farming community. One family welcomed us into their home, which was a cave carved out of the side of the mountain. It was small but cozy, with a single light bulb and very basic necessities. It was a sharp contrast to the big city life we had observed thus far.
Our very long day ended with a relaxing evening at the Tang Dynasty Dinner Theater. The program showcased the performing art forms of this golden age of Chinese culture. The dances featured the archetypes of feminine beauty and masculine power. The food was delicious, and the music and dancing were different than anything we had seen before.
Theresa and Laura