The Multiple Faces of China

Every travel knows instinctively that no country has just one story or narrative. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie popular novelist talks about the danger of knowing just one story or narrative about a country. She warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

In popular culture the multi faceted story of China is often misunderstood or narrowed down into a single narrative. My travels to four different cities in four different provinces of China gave me the understanding of the different cultures, people and food that gives different hues to this large country. We traveled through Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai. Here is my attempt to bring you the different colors and tones of this country through photographs.

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Tibetian folk market in Chengdu
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A snack made with freshly ground maize and a vendor who knew impeccable English.
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Prayer Flags at the folk market
A tourist dressing up as a soldier at the Great Wall
A tourist dressing up as a soldier at the Great Wall
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Birds Nest, China’s pride from the Beijing Olympics
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A tea shop in Beijing China
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Locks of love on the Great Wall of China
Yu Garden, Shanghai
Yu Garden, Shanghai
The steep climb on the JuYong pass of the Great Wall of China
The steep climb on the JuYong pass of the Great Wall of China
Forbidden Kingdom and the male lion guarding its gate. There is a female lion too usually depicted with her cub.
Forbidden Kingdom and the male lion guarding its gate. There is a female lion too usually depicted with her cub.
The formidable Terracotta army, still protecting their king.
The formidable Terracotta army, still protecting their king. These sculptures were painted in different colors but lose the color within minutes of exposing them to air.
A bicycle rickshaw
A bicycle rickshaw
Shanghai, the emerging face of China
Shanghai, the cosmopolitan China
The roots of Taoism in Chengdu
The roots of Taoism in Chengdu
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