Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year from China

New Year's Eve in Hong Kong just a few hours ago. This clip is specially atmospheric as it's taken by a local person in the midst of the crowd that throngs the streets. Yet the quality is better than many professionals. Learn to count in Cantonese ! 5 is tricky as it's "Nggg".  Hong Kong fireworks are famous, but Beijing might yet top HK. Everyone in Asia envies the HK display but Beijing decided to go anotherr route. This year saw Beijing's first "countdown" with laser and 3D projections on The Temple of Heaven, where the Emperors used to go and give thanks. What is even more significant though, is the rationale behind the Beijing celebrations. Relatively few fireworks, because they're not "green". Instead, light shows, electricty supplied by thousands of students on bicycles. China's environmental record is pretty bad since it's such a vast country and hard to govern.  Fireworks have always been part of Chinese culture, so it's an amazing, high profile statement of intent. 

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