Thursday, January 01, 2009

Huang He (Yellow River 黃河) banks

Walking along the Yellow River, we watched the moon climbing higher and higher.

We also watch the sun going down. The sky, the mountains, the river, they keep changing their colours every minute.

Finally, we went down to the banks of the Yellow River, to pick some rocks as a memento of our visit to the Yellow River. By then, it was almost pitch black. On the way back, I actually stepped into the mud, and made a mess. My friends pulled me out of the mud, helped me to clean up enough to walk back to the hotel. The temperature was below freezing at the time, and the sun has gone down. Fortunately I had a spare pair of dry socks with me. Otherwise it would have been unbearable.

The Yellow River has nurtured the Chinese civilization for thousands of years. In turn, we have changed it, but not necessarily for the better. I have seen how it got yellower and muddier as it flowed downstream, because of the reddish-yellow mud that got washed into the river.

I learned that NorthWest China was not as dry and devoid of grassland and trees as it is now. In fact, for two thousand years the region has seen the rise and decline of quite a few kingdoms, some of which seriously threatened the Han-majority dynasties. It is partly due to the cutting down of trees for agriculture and other reasons that worsen the soil erosion, which worsen the drying of the land, which in turn worsen the soil erosion, ...

Now the land is poor, the people are poor, ..., and the living is hard.

We contemplate the situation of the people living there for quite a while. In the end we sang and pray for them, before we went back.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos you had taken, on our mother land, land God made beautiful at the start for us to enjoy and know Him through His creation, and yet look at what we have done to it!
I have no right to comment when it comes to survival and a better living which may have to depend on making use of the natural resources. But I just hope that we can do it in a wiser way and in a less greedy way.

Your photos are much more prettier than mine - sunset and sunrise in Maldives from where I stayed are not that spectular. And there is only waters but no trees or mountains. Ann

StephenC said...

We Chinese have truly made a mess of our country. Now we have too many people, the land is in terrible shape, the rivers are polluted, ...

But there is no other way, but to start now to take care of the environment. Otherwise the land will become even more inhospitable, there will not be enough drinking water, ... And we can become the modern version of Mayans, the Easter Islanders, ...

Sunset and sunrise in the Maldives are pretty in their own way, as nature always is. I really would love to be there and see it myself.