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Henan Museum

One of my students was ordered, by a professor, to be my tour guide for a day. I thought this was rather strange as I was standing right there watching the command take place. I would have preferred he ask the class if anyone was willing and able to show me around instead, but that’s not the way he operated. The student was very kind and hopefully had a good time despite the lack of freedom he was granted.

We planned to visit the Yellow River, but the weather was not going to make that worthwhile (as it was raining), so instead we went to the Henan Museum (河南省博物院) in Zhengzhou. The museum is fairly new, and quite nice (compared to everything else I saw in China anyway). Admission was free, and the exhibits were loaded with amazing items. The human history in this area of the world is very ancient. The Yellow River is referred to as the “cradle of Asian civilization.” Many times Zhengzhou was the capital of China, including the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

The top item is made of ivory and is over 2,000 years old.

These bronze bells have not aged much in the past few thousand years.

What do you think the above item is?

Comfy, eh?

Items with early Chinese characters were some of my favorites.

Why does a museum sign say “No spitting” you ask? Thanks to the polluted air, and the Chinese male addiction to cigarettes, Chinese people make strange hacking sounds with great regularity. They also spit those contents regardless of where they are. I can’t even count the number of people I saw spitting on a single day the numbers were so great. The sidewalks, and many other locations, are covered in the stuff. Really gross, I know, especially since no one spits in Japan, and that is what I’m now used to.

The guy on the right in this picture is my aforementioned student (and his roommate is on the left and was also my student). His English was pretty good. Perhaps that is why he was ordered to take me around. We went out for ramen after the museum, and it was quite different from the Japanese version of Chinese ramen. The noodles were wide and flat. The ramen included tofu that was noodle like. I was told that the local ramen is very different from that found elsewhere in China. Maybe the ramen that is more like that found in Japan can be had in other parts of China. Although different, it was still good.

One Response to “Henan Museum”

  1. 1
    Katie:

    I agree, those Chinese characters are beautiful – they look so fluid.

    Porcelain and pillow don’t normally go together in my vocabulary 🙂

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