Yangtze mementoes: Part 6

Fengdu, Yangtze. June 1st.

Our next stop along the Yangtze was no less commercialized and tourist-oriented than Baidicheng. Guided by the bird-like voice of a vivacious young female tour guide, we maneuvered through the maze of temples, sculptures and throngs of tourists – this time a much greater percentage of Western origin. My father, sister and I listened in to some English-speaking tour guides catering to the Western foreigners. It was a cute scene when one of these briefed a few Caucasians on the legend of the King of the Underworld and the superstition of naming babies with certain unbecoming names linked to animals so as to evade evil spirits from claiming their souls – a lady balked, “Killed in the cradle?!” Incense smoke rose through the cracks in the vast seabed of people. Wanting to delve into the cultural content of Fengdu, I bought a small booklet containing all the sayings inscribed on doorways in the entire Ghost Town.

Back on our cruiser, as night dawned, the workers put up a show – dances, games, songs. The dance music made me reflect on the hope that the young lives of tribal and village peoples of the Yangtze must have. The future lay before them unknown but tantalizing, just as the black silk of the river unraveled itself under the moon outside.



~ by musafiremes on June 28, 2007.

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