06 February 2006

I am an Ox

I found out last week from a
Chinese student that I was born in the Year of the Ox. Actually, he told me that I was born in the Year of the Cow, but I found out later that Ox is the same thing, and I like the sound of that better. He also told me I could find out my "element," which I discovered is Water. So, I'm a
Water Ox. You can see the characteristics of the animals here, and can find your element and animal here. In case you have forgotten, I am a born leader and I inspire confidence from all around me. I am conservative, methodical, and good with my hands. I should guard against being chauvinistic and always demanding my own way.
Sunday was the Chinese New Year parade. It was quite long, and a great ending for our cultural weekend. The first picture is a group of kids on stilts.
They were pretty impressive. They did a little routine where they would hop in unison.
Have you seen those little gyroscopes that you can spin on a rope and do flippy yoyo style tricks with? Well, the second picture is a giant one of those. Two guys got it spinning, then once it got going, one guy dropped out, and because of the spinning motion, it stayed upright. Ask your local physicist why this works. When we learned this when I took physics, the teacher had a student hold a spinning wheelchair
wheel. When he tried to lift it over his head, the spinning motion caused it to go out of control and he almost took his own head off. Dangerous stuff, that physics.
The next picture is a little boy wearing a too-big dragon mask. There were several of these in the parade, most of them stopping frequently to push up the mask to take a look around, as this boy is doing. There were a few of the long dragons as well, with ten or twelve people supporting on poles, weaving
back and forth. The next picture is an adopted Chinese girl with her adoptive father, part of a large group representing adopted Chinese children. Heather noted that every one was a girl. It seems that Chinese concerns with population has extended to adoption legislative controls.
The next two pictures show examples of costumes on display during the parade. There were many colorful costumes, as well as fans, drums, batons, and other accessories. There were balloons, a few floats, and musicians. There were frequent
reminders of the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In many ways, it was just like other parades I have seen, but there were certainly Eastern touches as well. Enjoy the pictures.

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