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January 17, 2004

acrobatics, silk, Jewish history

To flashback for a moment: On our last evening in Shanghai (January 7), Terry and I attended an acrobatic performance -- "zaji" in Chinese.

All the acts were terrific, but the one that impressed us both the most was the young man who flipped a series of bowls from his foot to the top of his head (nesting one inside the other) while teetering back and forth to music on a board rolling on a cylinder (the setup was actually even more complicated that what I've described). Zaji is a popular performance art in China, and I recommend an evening in the audience to any visitor. Earlier in the day, we toured a silk factory, an equally fascinating experience. We wanted to buy a quilt, but hadn't anticipated the factory outlet and didn't bring money or credit cards. So, we'll return on one of our periodic weekend trips from Nantong to Shanghai. The day before that, we went (with my teacher) to one of Shanghai's early-twentieth-century Jewish synagogues. The government has been converted it into a modest museum about the history of Jews in China, particularly the 30,000 who found refuge in Shanghai during the Holocaust. A young man give us a tour and an informed talk about the museums topics.

--Norty

Posted by now at January 17, 2004 06:19 AM