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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Not Able to Perceive All the Views at Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple

This past weekend after reaching the top of the hill where Xuzhou's Zhulin Temple* (竹林寺) sits, I immediately sought out the Avalokitesvara Pavilion (观音阁). It isn't hard to spot.

Avalokitesvara Pavilion at Zhulin Temple in Xuzhou


This is the same pavilion which appears in front of a setting sun in a photo I earlier shared. I hoped to go to the top floor of the pavilion and take a photo in the direction of where I had taken the earlier photo to provide both symmetry and contrast.

However, my plans were thwarted.

blocked stairway in pavilion


Without being able to reach the pavilion's upper levels, it wasn't possible to see over the trees and bamboo in the direction I wanted to photograph.

path through trees and bamboo


Oh well.

At least I was able to see the large statue of Avalokitesvara inside the pavilion.

Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) statue at the Zhulin Temple in Xuzhou


Normally I would have used the name Guanyin instead of Avalokitesvara in English, since that seems to be more commonly used when referring to this bodhisattva in China. But a few signs at the temple used the name Avalokitesvara for the pavilion's English name, so I will go with that. The Dunhuang Foundation helps explain the naming issue:
It is generally agreed among Chinese Buddhists and scholars of Buddhist studies that the figure Guanyin is the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. . . .

Avalokitesvara is the bodhisattva who represents compassion. . . .

Guanyin in Chinese means "Perceiver of all Sounds," which refers to the way in which Guanyin is able to hear all prayers and cries for help.

In India, bodhisattvas are genderless or are referred to as male. The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, or Guanyin, is often depicted as female in China.

One reason for this gender fluidity is due to the way the Bodhisattva has the ability to manifest on earth in many different forms.

I don't know why the pavilion's upper floors were closed. It reminded of several other pavilions and pagodas I have recently visited in China only to discover they were in similar states. Maybe Guanyin knows why.

Anyway, I don't have a photo to provide some symmetry with the earlier one, but at least I was able to capture the Avalokitesvara Pavilion with some pretty decent cloudage.






* Sometimes the literal translation "Bamboo Forest Temple" is used in English.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Seven Scenes During the Weeklong National Day Holiday in Xuzhou

The last day of the National Day holiday period was Monday, but the impact of the holiday will still be felt tomorrow, Saturday, by many people. As is typical for this holiday and the Lunar New Year holiday, to create seven consecutive days off, in addition to three official holiday days off work two weekday work days are moved to the weekends before or after the holiday. Tomorrow is one of those special shifted days.

In the spirit of the lingering National Day effects and to add to the earlier shared photos of night scenes on National Day, below are seven scenes in Xuzhou during the seven day holiday. None of the photos on their own would make me think "must be the National Day holiday". Yet they are still an opportunity to share a bit more of life in Xuzhou.


Day 1:

Fishing at the Feihuang River (废黄河) on Xi'an Bridge
Fishing during the late afternoon on Xi'an Bridge (西安桥) at the Feihuang River (废黄河)


Halloween display at the Goldland Carrefour


Day 2:

Butcher stall at the Fengchu Street (丰储街) Market


Day 3:

People playing and sitting on Type 66 152 mm Field Howitzers
Playing and sitting on Type 66 152 mm Field Howitzers outside the National Defense Education Museum and Xuzhou Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall


Moon over the Xuzhou Tongshan Wanda Plaza (徐州铜山万达广场) Golden Street
Moon over the Xuzhou Tongshan Wanda Plaza Golden Street


Day 5:

woman posing next to a pond for a photo
Posing for a photo at Ximatai (戏马台)


Day 7:

two girls dancing while on self-balancing scooters
Dress rehearsal for a performance at the Xuzhou Suning Plaza

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sculpting Blissful Harmony in Xuzhou

In addition to a sculpture of intertwined dragons that provided an opportunity for a multilingual pun, another sculpture at Xuzhou's Yunlong Park recently caught my eye:

Blissful Harmony (花好月圆) by Cai Zengbin (蔡增斌)
Blissful Harmony (花好月圆) by Cai Zengbin (蔡增斌), 2011


In this case, a nearby stone provide the sculpture's title and creator. The title is a Chinese idiom, and I went with a figurative translation reflecting that the woman is playing an erhu. Especially given the lighting conditions at the time, this is hard to see in the above photo. So here is another photo cropped and selectively brightened to help make it more visible:

sculpture of a woman playing an erhu


A more literal translation of the Chinese title would be "lovely flowers, round moon", and flowers and a moon shape are easy to spot. So although there isn't a multilingual pun, the title proves interesting in how it applies both figuratively and literally.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Few National Day Night Scenes in Xuzhou

Last night at a central shopping district in Xuzhou some people took selfies with a dog.

two young women taking a selfie with a dog and Chinese flags


Some people took dogs on a walk.

woman pushing two small dogs sitting on a wheelchair


Some people stopped to watch the day's earlier events in Beijing on a large screen.

Xi Jinping on large outdoor video display


Some people played basketball.

people playing basket in front of a shopping center


And some people waited in line for 9-inch pizzas.

line of people waiting for 9 inch pizza



On this National Day of the People's Republic of China much seemed as it would be on a busy Saturday night, though there a few more patriotic touches than usual.