Saturday, January 3, 2009

21 March 2008 - Chenjiagou

The morning mist covers the mountains but does not hinder early morning practice.
Back on the bus to Chenjiagou Village, which to us is a rather large city, is the home of Chen style Taijiquan. We are given instruction by Master Chen Erhu and his aunt. We are told that she is known as the Queen of Double Swords and one of the Four Flowers of China. We are honoured she takes time to give us a demonstration of her talents, before she has to run off to make a TV program.Wherever we travel, we are always warmly welcomed and this day, our host Master Chen Erhu invites us to his local village where his Grandmother lives. Master Ehru's Grandfather was a 4th generation Chen Master.His grandmother took the visit quite graciously, which was rather surprising, as it must be quite a shock to see 28 foreigners pour through her garden gate and fill her small yard. Our visit also attracted the neighbours and soon more guests squeezed their way in. Master Ehru's Grandmother remains calm and disappears into her house and quickly returns with bags of sweets, which are distributed fairly to guests and neighbours. As a gratitude for her hospitality, we perform a Norwegian song, which is loudly applauded by the neighbours and the children, again language not interfering with the visual entertainment factor. As a parting gift, we present the Grandmother with a typical Norwegian cap!As we leave the garden, we are surrounded by many children who love having their pictures taken, insisting that they see the pictures before we leave.
As we make our way down the path to our waiting bus, we realize we are being followed by Master Ehru's Grandmother, who makes sure we safely arrive at our destination and wave’s good bye. Again, we are reminded that there are some things that cross borders, like the love and concern of a grandmother.

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