Saturday, May 10, 2014

Culture Show and Chairman Mao

Rapeseed in Sichuan province
 Here are a few pictures out the window of the van as we drove back from Leshan Giant Buddha. The green plant is rapeseed or canola. A few weeks earlier these fields were covered with bright yellow flowers. That is an irrigation channel on piers crossing the field.

These terraces are growing tea plants. You can see some more rapeseed in the lower right.

Decorated toll plaza in Sichuan

No, this is not some ancient cultural relic. It is a toll booth on the highway.
Sichuan Opera at Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Chengdu

After dinner went to the Shufeng Yayun Teahouse for a Sichuan Opera show.

Dancing, singing, music.

Musician at Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Chengdu

This is an erhu or a "two string" instrument.

As is this. This guy was amazing.
Shadow puppet Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Chengdu

This guy did an amazing series of hand shadow figures. This is one of the more simple ones.

This is a puppet performance.

This guy was part of a skit. I forget the story but his wife puts this bowl of burning oil on his head to help him break his gambling habit. Anyway he can move the bowl from the top of his head to his forehead without his hands so that he can go under that bench in the background.

Face changing at Shufeng Yayun Teahouse in Chengdu

This guy was amazing. Somehow he changes the mask over and over again in a fraction of a second - really the blink of an eye.

Statue of Chairman Mao in Tianfu Square in Chengdu Sichuan

After the show we stopped downtown for me to take a picture of the Mao statue. During the cultural revolution statues like these were erected in the center of all the cities - if the local officials knew what was good for them. Most have since been moved to less prominent locations but Chengdu is the exception.

Mahjong is VERY popular in Chengdu. Locals joke that the Great Helmsman is offering to join a 5 RMB game. Others say he turned to stone waiting to get a taxi.

Accoding to Wikipedia, before 1967, the site was occupied by an ancient palace from the Shu Kingdom of ancient Sichuan. The palace was destroyed by Red Guards and the moat around it filled in to make an air raid shelter in 1967.

Mao is looking at this scene with many monuments to capitalism.

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