Beijing 2008

Last night, all eyes were on Beijing for the opening ceremony of the twenty-ninth Olympiad. The Chinese showed the world, that they know how to put on a show. Zhang Yimou a Chinese Oscar nominated film director, was put in charge of the massive production. The imagery was quite powerful, pointing out many important moments in Chinese history such as Confucianism, and the invention of writing.

The use of technology was very noticeable in the ceremony, with massive flexible LCD screens used to create amazing mosaics of moving images. By using the LCD allowed Yimou to change the scenery to fit each skit. It was almost cinematic in some regards.

Initially this paper was a blank sheet, according to the announcers this was done symbolically to tell the world to not make assumptions about China yet.

Overall, I enjoyed the ceremony very much including the breath taking lighting of the torch moment. Essentially the final torch bearer runs around the top edge of the stadium held by guide wires to light the torch. The Chinese did a very good job of showcasing themselves to the world. No doubt as you may have read in my previous blog posts, China is a country on the rise. Of course China has many problems that impedes the country from being the ideal place to live. Yet, you can’t help but think what remains in the future for a country that has over one billion people, and is changing at an improbable speed. No one would have ever imagined China would be hosting the Olympics twenty years ago, China then was a hard-line communist nation living in the past. Now Beijing and Shanghai are modern concrete jungle meccas, with new skyscrapers going up daily. If Chinese would take more responsibility on human rights, and provide the people with the freedoms they deserve, China could be one of the world’s shining jewels.

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