13 April 2012

Welcoming Mrs Rover to China!

About 40 years ago, Mrs Rover and I began dating. Now, after 34+ years of marriage, she has joined me in China for one more in a long series of honeymoons. I'm happy to report that absence DOES make the heart grow fonder  8^)

My students and graduate students welcomed her by planning a party for our apartment/garden with about 70 people. A small group came early to make dumplings:

Each student had their own style, taught them by a grandma or mother:

Once the party began, outside in the garden students took turns at cell-phone karaoke (several of them have wonderful singing voices):

At party's end, a group stayed on outside and cleaned the grounds while inside another group stayed to swamp out the apartment (and finish off the beer):

Southwest University makes sports an important part of students' lives. Last week, the pre-graduate minority students held a 2-day intermural basketball competition with co-ed teams. My students, of course, welcomed us at the event:

The intramural events were a build-up to campus-wide sports competitions. We attended the opening ceremony, which included drill team-type entertainment from students representing the various programs on campus. The morning rain and 30-minute delay did not deter the students who packed the stadium (luckily, we got VIP seats under the sheltered side):

The opening began with students emulating the Red Army:

And then a Greek Olympic style torch lighting:

And some "demonstration" games including GungFu, trick bikes, and footraces:

Many of the drill teams drew on classical Chinese culture:

But others were an eclectic mix of popular and Western cultural themes, such as the Me Tarzan, You Jane group:

And a very creative group (Econ students) where the gold-and-green capitalists did battle with the red communist pirates (this group won the Grand Award):

The forestry students demonstrated sandbagging techniques to control flooding rivers, and pole elevating techniques with their fellow students:

My guest lecture about traditional archery in America was a great success--we packed the small lecture hall with more than 60 folks, standing room only. Before the lecture, Mr. Qinyang (a bowyer from Chongqing) demonstrated traditional Chinese archery out on the sport field:

After the lecture, Mr. Qinyang (2nd from left), EcoRover, and Wushu Professor Chen Baoqing (on right; aka "Martial Chen") talked with the audience about traditional archery, it's connection with spiritual/meditative practices, and comparisons East/West:

Two young women studying to be translators did an excellent job in helping the audience better understand my lecture. A few days after the lecture, we treated them to dinner:

Mrs Rover and I go on a walk around campus most days, and I continue to find and appreciate new statuary:

And new landscaping marvels, such as these palm maples (Acer palmatum). In the U.S., they are often called simply "Japanese maples," but I learned they are native to China, have been cultivated for gardens for centuries, and are extremely diverse in variety--including these dwarf specimens:

More fun stuff this weekend--including a BBQ on the banks of the JiaLing River and a traditional Chinese wedding. Stay tuned!


Arija said...

I am so glad you are having such a wonderful time with your great and helpful students. Good to see you and the Mrs. as well.

Sylvia K said...

What a wonderful time indeed! And I, too, am so glad to be able to follow your adventure through your terrific captures!! Thanks for sharing!! Enjoy your weekend, as I'm sure you will!


BLD in MT said...

I am learning so much from your posts.

How wonderful that your wife was able to join you! And that you've had so many happy years together. I suppose it is my upbringing in a divorced home, but my heart absolutely rejoices when I hear of such loves.

There were tons of interesting things to remark on from this post, but I think I will just go with the dumplings. I find it fascinating how recipes and methods are passed down. Thanks for including the photos showing their differences. "That just how my mom did it." is a fairly common kitchen refrain I think.

troutbirder said...

The color of Chinese festivities of all kinds always is amazing to me. I love those Japanese (oops Chinese) maples and wish they were hardy here on the tundra. And so glad Mrs Eco could join you. I'd been wondering about that. Your good to go now Pat... :)

Janie said...

I'm so glad that Mrs. Eco was able to join you. You've had so many fascinating experiences. I'm sure the Mrs. will love meeting your new friends and touring the countryside with you.

~ Sheepheads said...

Hi Pat,

Nice of your other half to be able to make it over to experience the culture with you.

Been recently trying to track down a copy of Cliff's "The Courtyard of the Happy Way." Eric Liddell's camp...

Great posts. Stay well.

Cheers, Garland