As I said our time in Taiyuan was not very exciting. Very relaxing actually… played basketball a few days, ate a lot of good food, and chilled. During our first week there though, the constant explosions of fireworks was hard to get used to. I heard fireworks at all times of the day and night for the whole week leading up to the Chinese New Year. The first few nights, it was very hard to fall asleep, and to stay asleep once I got there. It really felt like I was in some time of war zone.
My good friend JP (from Montana , who’s lived in Shanghai for 7 years) warned me that the fireworks on the calendar new year were nothing in comparison to the Chinese New Year celebrations. Although he has never been to Taiyuan , he was correct. The constant explosions that I had been hearing for about 5 days had escalated on this New Year’s Eve, and at about 8-9pm it was pretty bad. And we were still in the house trying to watch TV. The family calmed me down and said, sorry, it’s not 12 yet… just wait… you’ll see. So in the meantime we continued to watch the New Years TV special. A 4 hour long TV show filled with comedy acts, dancers, singers, and musicians. Very good show… two things that were surprising… a black guy who sang a duet with a Chinese girl (in Chinese!) and most surprising… the entire 4 hour show was not interrupted by any commercials.
Observation: from the TV show I learned that there are 56 different ethnic groups among the Chinese people. In the beginning of the show, performers from many of the ethnic groups performed. Think back… in school do you remember learning that Native Americans migrated from Asia to America ? During the opening performances of different ethnic groups, I noticed many clothing and jewelry styles that are very similar to Native American clothing and jewelry that I have seen in pictures, movies, etc. Interesting…
I’m going to stop here… I do not think I can put the scene outside on New Years Eve into words. Please see for your self in the video journal.