A Travellerspoint blog

Foshan, city of ceramics and Kung Fu (Wing Chun)

...with open doors thanks to a growing friendship.

sunny 26 °C

A day outing with Frankie's family to Foshan Ancestral Temple.
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We leave the building complex and drive to the Ancestral temple site. Among an impeding mass of new buildings, the village stands stranded in time. The buildings date from the Sung dynasty, with curved, tiled rooftops. The entrance gate towers majestically.
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Inside, a layout of plazas are interconnected by former residential houses, temples, opera houses and kung fu schools. The first thing we see is this enormous tile mosaic in bas relief.
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People begin to crow the place; locals celebrate their heritage passionately, praying in temples and learning history. Soon, slightly distantly, I hear drum and cymbal music. Frankie and Sisi call me.
"Come, we see the lion dance!"
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The dancers are skilled martial artists, jumping amazing heights and performing fine acrobatic moves. The crow smiles as they watch the musical performance, and cheer the amazing display of dance and theatrics. Old women buy little souvenirs for little children, who watch amazed at the lion's parade in the small square.
When the performance ends, people walk towards a nearby building. The central plaza is matted with a blue rug that soon fills with the tanned and sculpted bodies of gong fu practitioners, willing to put on a show.
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Foshan was the birthplace of Wing Chung, a versatile and effective style of kung fu. Ip Man, as he is known in the western world, was born and taught this art in Foshan. He would eventually teach a young man by the name of Bruce Lee.

Posted by findmywuwei 07:30 Archived in China Tagged art architecture temple history china martial_arts foshan ancestral_temple

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