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Spring Festival Memories of China and Scotland

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2018-02-15 10:01
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Spring Festival symbols. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Spring Festival 2018 has arrived. Beijing has gone quiet. The journey home, the greatest single movement of people at any moment in the modern world, has happened. However, this year many millions have certainly benefited from the expansion of China’s high-speed rail network assisted with the advent of on-line booking. We can easily say “Gone are the days” which I remember only too well of trying to purchase a train ticket! Memories to forget as we relish in today’s efficiencies!

The Chinese New Year, in my earlier days back in Scotland, I was aware of celebrations not only in cities such as Hong Kong but in places worldwide where there were sizeable Chinese communities such as San Francisco, New York and London. Television news would feature colourful clips but for most of us, there was little direct involvement except to discover that our favourite Chinese restaurants were closed for a few days!

Although I had visited China in 1987 this was part of an overland railway expedition from Scotland ending in Hong Kong. Life however changed in August 1992 as I headed eastwards on an educational exchange programme to Guangzhou. A year that gave me so many insights, cultural and personal experiences that my former individual travels never could.

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