This is Kelsey. Today (June 1st in China) we took the subway and bus to make our way to various Beijing destinations. There is no such thing as personal space and the rule of the game is shove or be shoved! We visited the Temple of Heaven first. All buildings are focused on cosmology and fung shui. Everything in Chinese culture is focused on being harmonious-> food, nature, health, etc. has everything to do with the natural world. The goal is to align with heaven. Taichi was somewhat of a martial art meditation movement happening throughout the park there. They try to derive good chi, chi = energy and life force. There also was the Echo Hall which is circular and if you whisper at the wall the sound travels all the way around. Beijing means north capital and was built by the second emperor of the Ming dynasty. The Temple of Heaven and Forbidden city palace was also built by him. The Temple of Heaven was for good harvest for the country which was the emperor’s job. Rituals and ceremonies were performed and must be followed exactly. Heaven is round and blue and earth is square. The Hall of Prayer for good harvest is the architecturally most famous in all of China.
We also got to see Tiananmen Square where protests are able and have taken place at in the past. It was interesting to note the level of security and cameras there. They are always watching you! The Forbidden City Palace was the place the emperor stayed when the capital was moved to Beijing. Overall a very historical enriching day, and very hot! Popsicles and water were a great go to! Onto the Great Wall tomorrow!