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Many great questions have been pondered throughout Chinese history. On a hot June day in 2009, four brave women dared to ask: “Where is the toboggan?” Their quest was part of this year’s Reporting China assault on the Great Wall of China and a special mission to search out a toboggan ride discovered by the 2008 Reporting China team that provides travelers the option of a little mechanical help in getting up to and down from the battlements, with a few thrills and chills thrown in for good measure. Join them now to see how they fared.
caitlin meredith's travel blog, editorial, international, multimedia, on the street, society & culture, video »
The early morning scene in a Chinese public park is part Lollapalooza, part Jazzercise convention and part Karate Kid, with just a tinge of One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest. While youth might rave or hip-hop the Shanghai night away, it’s the seniors who rule the dawn.
On a typical early morning in Zhongshan Park, no fewer than 17 activities share the walkways and grassy enclosures. From badminton, ballroom dancing and tai chi to table tennis, Chinese elders have taken the government’s physical fitness call-to-arms to heart. . . .
Beishe is a village located in rural Shaanxi province, a two-hour drive from the ancient capital of Xi’an. While change has come to Beishe over the years – the introduction of electricity, an increase in motor vehicles and other labor-saving devices, and overall improvement in the quality of life – it has come at a much slower pace than in the country’s booming urban centers. This video offers glimpses of a day in the life of the people of Beishe, who manage to honor age-old rhythms in a time of dramatic national transformation.
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And you thought walking a tightrope was hard. The sport of slacklining developed in the 1980s in the United States and is gaining popularity around the world. It has been slow to catch on in China, however, a country not known for freedom of expression or citizens trying their hand – or feet – at out-of-the-ordinary sports. But at least one Beijinger, Rio Zhang, is trying it out, and he talks about his experience with this extreme pastime.
Says Zhang: “I think when you try to balance your body, it helps to balance your mind.”
Zhong Guan Cun Square is the place where Beijingers come to dance, roller-blade, or just people-watch, all to vibrant new urban rhythms. Whether people are working to perfect their moves or simply being adventurous and taking a tumble in stride, they suggest exuberant new lifestyles that were absence in China not all that many years ago. And whether line dancing or boldly ballroom, the citizens of Beijing now makes their picks strictly according to personal preference – and to help reduce the stresses and strains of big city life.