Chinese Drums & Lion Dance (舞獅)

Last Saturday we were at the official opening ceremony of the 2011/2012 Birdwatching season at the Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園). As is normal at auspicious event opening there is always some drums and a Lion Dance. The drums and dance in the video below kicked off the ceremony.

The performance was by some kids from the local junior high school and we think they did pretty well. The Lion dance has been a part of Chinese culture for a thousand years at least and is usually performed on auspicious occassions such as Chinese New Year or event openings (such as this one). This particular dance was only a couple of minutes long but they can sometimes go on for much longer depending on the occasion and the event. There are (as expected) regional variations in the costumes and the dances themselves (but you can look that up yourself). It is always good to see kids getting involved in cultural activities and we enjoyed the show (short and sweet as it was).


Hutong (衚衕) Life - Beijing

The picture below is one Queenie took in a Beijing Hutong (北京衚衕) on our trip there in August 2010 with Mom. I edited the picture and I just really liked the outcome a lot so wanted to share it. I will post a longer blog at some point with other Hutong pictures.

Hutong Life - Beijing - (by Queenie)

If you have any comments, please do share.


Hong Kong Park Bird Aviary

The Edward Youde Aviary in the Hong Kong park is a hidden treasure. We have been to Hong Kong many times over many years (and even been in the park) and never knew the aviary was there. Finding it in early 2010 was a treat.

Hong Kong Park Aviary

The aviary is named after Edward Youde, a long time governer of Hong Kong. The elevated walkway enables visitors to view the birds and vegetation from varying elevations. Apparently the aviary is about 3,000 square meters and has a fair variety of birds.The aviary is beautifully laid out, it was free and is worth visiting when visiting Hong Kong Park. The video below shows some of the birds in the aviary.

A few pictures of the birds in the aviary are shown below. There were quite a few birds and species on display. It was great to visit them and to see them in this habitat.

Hong Kong Park Aviary

Hong Kong Park Aviary

Hong Kong Park Aviary

Hong Kong Park Aviary

All in all the Eduard Youde Aviary in Hong Kong is a special place worth visiting.

Food in Hong Kong - Our Friend Ron Speaks

In 2009/2010 we travelled to Hong Kong with our friends Ron and Melody. We had an awesome time there. One of the features of travelling anywhere is the food we eat. Well, after four days in Hong Kong our friend Ron gave us his thoughts on the food. Some fairly interesting insights.

The food discussed in the video above is as follows

1) Reuben Sandwich
2) Cantonese Dinner
3) Dim Sum Breakfast
4) Hamburger in Stanley
5) BLT Sandwich
6) Breakfast
7) Fish and Chips and French Toast
8) Chicken Tikka

Really fun times. Queenie and I had an awesome time with Ron and Melody in Hong Kong.


Tattoo Art in Beijing 798 Art Zone

We saw these amazing pieces of Art in the Beijing 798 Art Zone when we took my mom there in 2010. As you can see the pictures were of tragic women with intricate tatoos all over their bodies. I personally loved the concept and enjoyed this particular gallery. It was unusual and differet from the usual landscape galleries and the propoganda galleries. Unfortunately we do not know who the artist is.

Tattoo Myself - Despair

As the picture above shows, the art pieces all depicted different women with tattoos in a different emotional state of being. The picture above shows amplifies in my mind the concept of tragic beauty. Beautiful woman, scarred body, committing suicide. Terribly sad and yet a powerful emotional image.

Tattoo Myself - Sadness

The picture above was without doubt my favorite. I liked the contrast between the black and the skin tone, the intricate detail of the tatoo, the horn off the eyes, the coy body posture, the submissive melting away emotion in the face. I just really like that piece.

Tattoo Myself - Girls Together
Girls Together

The deep red in the picture above adds an emotional flavor to the picture. I love the contrasting expressions in the girls faces (the one girl has two eyes open, the other only one etc.) and how the one has a piercing in the lip and the other the piercing in the eyebrow. The closeness of the girls also seems to imply security in friendship in dramatic times. And once again the intricacy of the art tattoos and the artwork on the wall and the headpieces is amazing.

Tattoo Myself - Back to You
Back to You

The shy, graceful poise in the pose for this picture is remarkable. The light skin tones contrasted with the actual tattoo provdes a gentle texture to the picture and makes it a compelling piece for me.

Tattoo Myself - Discretion

Another great picture. The shy, defenceless posture of the lady covering herself despite her circumstance. The big eyes, the elegant and graceful pose makes this woman alluring and beautiful.

Tattoo Myself - Gun to the Head

Loved this one. The defiance in the eyes and the wicked smile in spite of the necklace of thorns. The gun is the release from life. The one thing she has control of. The blood from the thorns, the tear stained cheek, defiance in the eyes, the gun in the hand. It is a tragic but powerful picture.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed and if you do know the name of the artist then please do let me know.


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