Saturday, August 9, 2008

Concerted and Captivating Conquest by China

China opened its curtains to the world and cast a massive presence of its capacity and capability as an ascendant world power. In spectacular fashion and stunning presentation of fireworks and pageantry at the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games, China effectively used a resource it had in greatest abundance - people. Some 12,000 performers took part in the extravaganza to an estimated 91,000 people in the Bird's Nest arena, telecast to at least a billion viewers worldwide. An additional 15,000 musicians and acrobats encapsulated 5,000 years of Chinese history into 55 minutes of artistically choreographed and exquisitely illuminated sequences.

The opening ceremonies undoubtedly mesmerized the 91,000 spectators at the Birds Nest, with elaborate costumes and a giant screen at the center of the field; plus 29 sets of pyrotechnics representing the editions of the games. Those who watched at the arena were generous and unanimous in their praise. What was evident was the determination of each participant to provide their best efforts without mistakes, yet their pride and enthusiasm for their involvement and contribution resonated ceaselessly throughout; and their joy, marked the genuine smiles on their faces as their respective sequences came to a close. It was China's grandest coming out party and they were awesomely successful.

The event was very capably handled by Chinese Film Director Zhang Yimou, who took over after American Director and Oscar Winner Steven Spielberg backed out for political reasons. Having over a billion people in their country, it was not difficult to find a worthy, if not better, replacement for Spielberg; apart from knowing, sharing, and caring for, the aspirations of the Chinese people.Ten months of rehearsals plus a US $ 40 billion budget for the hosting of the games paid off handsomely for the Chinese.

US President George Bush may have attempted to downplay China's imminent success by citing the country's human rights record in a recent speech, but he attended the games nonetheless together with 90 other Heads of State who ignored calls for a boycott. Earlier on CNN, Larry King was interviewing Christian music recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman about the tragic death of their adopted daughter who was born in China. It may be dismissed as pure coincidence but the timing is certainly in bad taste. The awaited event that would earn China enormous praise was akin to being discredited by the fact that Chinese children were being adopted by the US. Much of the interview covered the process, procedures and costs of adopting children. However, these efforts failed to diminish in any way, the global response to what China had to offer. In some respects, it was the proverbial sun rising in the east, after it has gone down in the west.

Western leaders have a lot to learn about the meaning and practice of respect in Asia. Admonitions about human rights, military conflicts, among others, from countries whose own hands have been dirty for much longer periods and in several continents, are futile attempts to project themselves as better. It is a delusion of unworthy leaders who believe they can convince others of their higher moral authority by putting others down. Coming from one whose tenure has brought more damage to the face, image and economy of his country than any one of its past Presidents; and whose national conscience carries no remorse nor apology for what they had done to their native inhabitants, the admonitions are spits aimed at the heavens that will only splatter on their faces.

Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed it succinctly when he remarked, " it's inevitable that people from different countries may not see eye to eye, so we should try to expand our common ground on the basis of mutual respect". Politics has no place in sports, and it must be reiterated that it was the Western nations that initiated and perpetuated such practices; not the east, not the Asians, and certainly not China. China's hosting of the games has brought honor and glory for its country, and its courteous and diplomatic management of the proceedings will bring the same upliftment and pride to most, if not all, of Asia. This is the inevitable outcome of this event, and it will strengthen China's influence in the region, and the rest of the world.



The Fitness Diva said...

I was completely awestruck and moved by the opening ceremonies yesterday, and was very happy for all those Chinese that got to participate and be proud of what they accomplished in creating and executing this unforgettable and magnificent spectacle.

For once, the politics should take a back seat...just for a minute.

And yes, the US has a nerve pointing the finger at anyone.
But if you watched last night, you realized that it was about the PEOPLE of China. Not the powers that be. They are not their government. It was a joy to watch them proudly enjoy being part of the bigger world.

I tried to tape it, but YouTube is yanking off all the videos left and right. I also was worried that Google might get mad if I posted it on my blog! :O

Anyway, GREAT show! I hope nothing more happens to dampen the happiness and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the 2008 Olympic games!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

I agree with you, it was about the people of China, their dreams and aspirations - just like the rest of the people in the world.

It was a triumphant hour for them and they really made it count for their country.

I salute them. :-) --Durano, done!

Jena Isle said...

Hi Durano, I can see you're back in shape again after the brief hiatus. Tama ba ang English ko? he he he (Is my English correct.) You do go places. I wish I could too.

You do write really well. Very nicely done and expressed. I understood exactly what you wanted your readers to know. Ang galing mo kabayan (You're good, Kabayan!). My hats off to you. Keep posting.

All the best,

SheR. said...

Maybe that the small % of Chinese heritage in me was screaming Hooray as I watched the opening ceremony.

Beautiful to watch!!

There was the big hoo-ha about boycotting this event like you said. But seriously given the current economic power of China, I doubt any of those world leaders would vacate their precious seats in the stadium and ditch those respect that the Chinese has dish out to them.

See and feel the pride of the Chinese people!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Jenaisle,

There's no need to translate Tagalog to English, Pinoy ako noh!

Be careful of what you wish for, you wouldn't want to go where I am at the moment. :-)

I hope other readers sense it like you do as the underlying message could be prophetic... he he he, at least from one of the emerging nations. Stay well. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Sher,

I have no Chinese blood in me and what I have are European connections, or disconnections. But I consider myself Asian 100%. Being so, I was proud and felt a very strong attachment to what China has accomplished.

I felt it wasn't just China that stood out but that the whole of Asia was benefited by their success. And what country in Asia has not been birthed with citizens of Chinese descent? Hardly any.

It is a triumph for all of us and I say, Hoooooray for Asia! :-) --Durano, done!

Kay Bratt said...

I have spent the last five years living in China, until recently. I can tell you that Diva is right, the people are NOT their government. The people are amazing-- the government...well. I won't say anymore.


Kim said...

an excellent account Durano !!!
I couldn't agree more...
the Chinese have presented the best opening ceremony ever...
I was absolutely spellbound...
the People of China and Asia should be extremely proud !!! Bravo!!
and now I will have a whinge about my country...
what a shame that the Australian designers couldn't design a decent uniform for the Aussies :(
I hope it doesn't affect their sporting
I'm afraid I was very disappointed with our Sportscraft designers...

thank you so much for your wonderful Birthday wishes...
Charlotte and I were very touched :) :)
hugs Kim

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Kay,


I can see where you're coming from, before posting this response to your comment, I read all your posts on the Uncensored blog.

I know what it's like to be attached to people even if they are of a different race and no blood relations exist whatsoever. I have been exposed to such emotions and attachments practically all of my professional life.

It is a bond brought forth by our empathy for the suffering of others, of feeling their pain and their hopelessness. It expresses our oneness with all of humanity and makes us realize it is such a small planet, and we are all connected and affected. It makes us wonder what all the conflict is about and why these should exist, rather than mobilize all resources to alleviate the hardships of fellow human beings.

Governments and politicians to me are one and the same breed all over the world, some are just more discreet than others. And if you're going back to China or would want to continue helping from where you are at present, you're right about not saying anything. From what I read in your blog, you have given your full name, showed your photo and that of your husband, and even the state where you are.

Take care Kay, you're one of the angels for the many orphans in China. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

I too was riveted to the small screen on the expensive pay per view we obtained from the hotel. It was a marvelous show they put up.

I didn't get a chance to see the Australian team's uniforms, perhaps you should have volunteered to design it. :-)

It really isn't about the uniforms but about participation, unity, sportsmanship, peace, and understanding, brotherhood. I'm teasing you, I know you know these. But women really, artists perhaps most especially, would take notice of such details. :-)

Thanks for the hugs, and you're welcome to birthday wishes every year. :-) --Durano, done!

sam said...

China did indeed conquer it! And not to mention the captivating set up just like what you have in the picture.