The following essay was posted by Guangzhou-based blogger Yang Hengjun, and as translated by Linjun Fan:
Let the Holy Torch Enlighten a Road of Simplicity, Nature and Harmony
When China Central Television was broadcasting the Olympics torch lighting ceremony live from Greece, I watched the whole process. I have to admit that I found the complicated ceremony to be weird and funny at first, because I am not used to that kind of scene. What’s it like? It’s very austere. I have experienced all kinds of grandiose movements and activities in China. Whenever I think of the Olympic Games, images of large unified crowds pop into my mind. Also, it’s rare for our national television network to broadcast live such a simple and crude activity.
However, I was deeply attracted by the flame lighting ritual. The priestess presiding over the ritual was dressed in pure white. She lit the holy flame from a bowl on the ground, and danced elegantly with several Greek women similarly dressed on a nearby hillside. There were also eight bare-foot men, acting out various scenes of sports competitions on a lush grassland. Their holiness and beauty grabbed me.
I personally think that the simple scenes acted out by the eight Greek men with muscular beauty are the culmination of the flame-lighting ceremony. The significance of the ceremony in the minds of the Chinese government and the Chinese people could be demonstrated by the fact that the First Channel of China Central Television broadcast it live. However, we also know that people in
China don’t normally attach significance to simple and natural things.
Isn’t the ritual simple and natural? Look at the eight barefooted dancers, who were in plain clothes, acting out on natural grass poses that were condensed through thousands of years of sports history.
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