China

Elena Grigoryeva, Konstantin Lidin

Abstract


A little more than one hundred years ago Igor Severyanin wrote:
On the land where bluebells gently ring
And a breath of wind makes china sing,
Admiration comes and comes again
As I travel though the rocks and velvet plain.
There’s a village with its airbrick wall,
behind which the fanzas are so small.
Life is modest, quiet, poor but free
From the fog of Russian everyday melancholy.
Starting from Voltaire, who bowed to the patience and wisdom of Confucian philosophy, the western people perceived China as a kingdom of peace, quiescence and meditative self-immersion. But the second part
of the 20th century and especially the beginning of the current century has turned the vision of the ‘qui-
escent land of bogdikhans’ upside down. Nowadays, China, the largest and most populous of the Eastern empires, is spreading its presence and influence all over the world. At the same time, it applies and adapts Western culture, and, obviously, Western architecture and technologies.Chinese people are merging with the rest of the mankind more and more intensively. The official forecast for the number of Chinese tourists coming to Irkutsk is about one million tourists a year. An issue of great concern is the future severe competition for labour resources (above all, for the most valuable specialists capable to develop advanced ideas and new technologies) in the Far East and Southeastern Asia. That is why the aging China has already started to simplify
the procedure of obtaining a work permit for foreign specialists.The key materials of this section are the article by Elena Bagina describing China through the eyes of a Russian tourist and the article by Mark Meerovich, where the same country is seen from within by a foreign specialist. The section also contains sketches from
London, Moscow and Irkutsk that compose a mosaic called ‘China Everywhere’. As the Chinese poet Shao
Yan-xian said:

There’s no need in folk songs!

There’s no need to tell about former deeds!

All we need is speed!
Speed!
Speed!
For the Earth is spinning faster,
And we’ll continue our way on it!
We now shouldn't canonize with grain
Or put the paper naval forces into fight!
We now shouldn’t trust in our feet –
The wheels are chasing us so swiftly!


Keywords


East; West; China; culture; architecture; Asia



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7480/projectbaikal.54.1252



Copyright (c) 2018 Elena Grigoryeva, Konstantin Lidin

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.