” Are Dragons Good or Bad? China in the 21st Century”

Dwain Crum "The Sea Rebel", was born in Pasadena, CA and a lifelong resident of Rosemead, CA. Retired after 29 years as a history teacher at Rosemead High School. Dwain is fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling around the world.

By Dwain C. Crum

 Dwain Crum “The Sea Rebel”, was born in Pasadena, CA and a lifelong resident of Rosemead, CA. Retired after 29 years as a history teacher at Rosemead High School. Dwain is fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling around the world.

Are dragons good or bad?  In the Western part of the world the dragon has basically been viewed as a dangerous and evil creature.  This is epitomized by Saint George slaying the dragon.   Largely because of this deed, Saint George is the patron saint of England, of Russia and other countries in between.

In the Eastern part of the world the dragon is basically viewed as a force for good.  This is epitomized by how the dragon is used in dance and symbolism in China and other nations of the Far East.

America has the Eagle, Russia has the bear, but China has long been the land of the Dragon.

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My ship, the Pacific Princess, visited two ports in China – Shanghai and Hong Kong.  From Hong Kong, I visited a third city in China, Macau.  Some of the things that I saw surprised me, while others did not.

China is clearly a nation on the rise.  One quarter of the world’s population live in China.  Mandarin is spoken by more people than any language on Earth (though English is spoken in far more countries).  Some Americans see this as a growing threat while other Americans (and many American businesses) see this as an opportunity.

Hong Kong (which was under British control for many years) and Macau (which was under Portuguese control for many years) are not your typical Chinese cities, but then again neither is Shanghai.  I am not exactly sure what a typical Chinese city is.  All I can say is that China in 2013 is a far cry from the Communist nation founded by Chairman Mao.

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In Hong Kong, I was interviewed by two groups of students trying to learn about visitors to their country.  Near Stanley Market, I was interviewed by Isaac Lau and his friend Hoby while at the Peak, while waiting for the famous tram I was interviewed by a student with the unusual Chinese name of Janet Elizabeth Wholpton and her friends, Angie, Jasmine and Delphone.  They all spoke very good English and were eager to complete the assignment that their teacher had given them (interview six foreign tourists).

Shanghai also seemed to be modern and growing and seeing all the foreign and American businesses there I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Communist China.  Macau to help reinforce the strain on credulity is now a city with 37 casinos.  What would Mao have thought about that?

Are dragons good or bad?  It appears on the surface that the Chinese Dragon is a force for good in today’s world.  However, I would feel a lot more comfortable if they dropped that word communist.  Only time will tell.

 

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