Suzhou

Written week of Suzhou trip

This week, we took a trip to Suzhou, which, as I understand is famous for silk. It was great to go another city than Shanghai to see how they differed. My first impressions were that the two cities were actually pretty similar. many of the buildings looked the same. However, Suzhou was noticeably less busy. Much of the architecture was the same, and the spacing of the two cites were similar as well. But this changed when we went to areas where the canals were heavily integrated into the infrastructure of the city. This was like nothing I have witnessed in Shanghai- thus far. We went on a slow cruise on manually operated boats that took us through the canal system of what seemed to be a more close knit community than those I have observed in Shanghai. There were no tall buildings, and all of the architecture there seemed to be older and more traditional than in the parts of Shanghai I have seen so far. I think observing these differences was helpful in my efforts to form a more holistic and nuanced picture of modern Chinese society, mainly because it allowed me to see a unique look into everyday life of a different city. The trip to the Silk Museum was interesting as well. I had never seen the machine used to process silk that the museum had on display. Lastly, the classical gardens were a very memorable part of the Suzhou trip. This time around, I was even more impressed at the garden’s structures given that some structures than I was with those of the Yu Yuan garden. Some of the structures there supposedly date back to as early as the 12th century. I also saw many aspects of Fengshui at work in the gardens. For one, the presence of slow meandering waterways was very noticeable. This supposedly serves to create a tranquil vibe and invite peace. Another clear indicator of Fengshui was the presence of hanging trees, which also produce auspicious chi. Altogether, these parts of Suzhou I mentioned made for a good trip. I got to add another dimension to my knowledge of how people live in different parts of china, and I got a chance to see some of the Fengshui we learned in class at work in our time at the classical gardens.

 

 

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