Discovery Channel’s documentary about China was compelling because it did not show China the way a tour guide will, nor did it show China as a bully to smaller nations, just like how local media has been depicting China. Rather, the documentary featured Chinese citizens from all walks of life trying to build dreams, preserve culture, and to just simply make ends meet – just like how any other person from any other country does.
One Aspect that was remarkable was that bit about the ancient art of Kung Fu. The art of Kung Fu has been around for thousands of centuries outlasting any dynasty that ruled China. And despite the fact that the western influences (like al fresco dining brought about by Vincent Lo’s Xin Tian Di) have taken the interest of the urban Chinese, there is still an impressive number of Kung Fu advocates that still preserve the art and practice the skill. The documentary’s take on Kung Fu raised interest because it can encapsulate what China, as a nation believes in. It believes in Tradition, in which a lot of Chinese owe their development both as a country and individuals. It teaches also teaches discipline, a trait the Chinese are known for, and with it they can achieve certain goals. More importantly, Kung Fu makes one a better person since it controls each person’s “chi”.
One realization that is stemmed from the listed teachings of Kung Fu is that the Chinese, in general, often strive for the best and are hardworking. The Great Wall of China and the story behind its construction is a testament to that diligence and discipline. The stories of the Liao rice planters, the bow maker, the window cleaner, and even Master Liu and Xiao Shui show why China has reached superstar status. China is not the giant it is today without the 1 Billion people behind her. In addition, one does not simply study China without studying its people, its beliefs and culture.
It is the people who strive to become better without forgetting where they come...
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