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May 10, 2017: Where We Come From, Part II

Gone are the days when, for some of us, our flirtation with the Far East began and ended fumbling with chopsticks, tearing open packets of plum sauce and sharing fortune-cookie prophecies at a restaurant featuring Chinese-Canadian food. 

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Hangzhou, PRC

 

Today, the Chinese in Canada constitute the second-largest group born outside our borders, living in urban centres like Markham and Richmond where the lingua franca is more likely to be Mandarin than English or French. Their success is underpinned by drive, education, entrepreneurship, expertise and an expectation to excel. Travel to China, and you will see these attributes and more on display. It is a country moving forward at breakneck speed. 

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Guilin, PRC

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Xi'an, PRC

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Hangzhou, PRC

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Xi'an, PRC

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Hangzhou, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Xi'an, PRC

 

Arrive in Shanghai and you can’t help but feel in awe of this pullulating metropolis. With a pace that can be compared to a hyper-caffeinated Manhattan, this – apologies to Ol’ Blue Eyes – is the city that never sleeps or, as Swedish expats riding aboard the world's largest subway system would say, "Detta är staden som aldrig sover." Having a population nearly equal to Canada’s, it is surprising to see the occasional tip of the hat to our Canuck ways. World Curling Championships on TV, who’da thunk it? Also took note of a large sign in front of a hairdressing establishment touting its Vancouver heritage, as well as our flag emblazoned on the side of a motor-scooter helmet. 

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

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Shanghai, PRC

 

A rapidly expanding, nonpareil high-speed rail network that Via Rail users can only wish for is, at speeds of up to 350 km/h, shrinking the country’s vast distances. Major cities are undergoing rapid electrification of public transportation fleets, and there appears to be newfound determination backed by laws with real teeth to legitimately tackle environmental issues and corruption. But what I found most impressive during this visit is not the inspiring architecture, experimental and forward-looking technology, or even some long-overdue progress in the countryside; it is the move away from uniformity. 

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Hangzhou, PRC

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Xi'an, PRC

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Beijing, PRC 

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Xi'an, PRC

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Hangzhou, PRC

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Hangzhou, PRC

 

China is becoming a nation where common purpose and individuality can healthily coexist. This, despite soapbox squabbles and the occasional really bad haircut, may prove to be its most powerful asset.

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Xi'an, PRC

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Guilin, PRC

 

 • • •

 

I am proud to report that through our collaboration with the Art for Healing Foundation, Carey Management Philanthropy Photos recently delivered 36 prints sized 24 x 36 inches and 36 x 48 inches to a network of senior and long-term care facilities in Quebec’s Montérégie region south of Montreal.

   

Always looking forward to your comments.

 

daniel@careymgmt-philanthropyphotos.com 

  

The Parting Shots:

Bathed in warm backlight, buds open on a spring day in March.

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Hangzhou, PRC

So much for school discipline! Feeding goldfish is taken to another order of magnitude. 

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Guilin, PRC

Despite an obvious penchant for tickling the ivories, the cat demonstrated little musicianship.

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Shanghai, PRC

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