A Smile in Confucius Temple – Poem

Tainan is the former capital of Taiwan, therefore is marked by historical monuments and constructions. Now is a beautiful combination of modern life and the past times. In the heart of Tainan, behind the Literature Museums, there is the Confucius temple. The place is small, but really beautiful and its significance is remarkable. After all, Confucius is known as the teacher of teacher.

Last year made two entries about photography at Tainan’s Confucius Temple. I hope you can check it out, so you can get further idea of how the temple look like from outside.

Tainan Confucius Temple and Across Confucius Temple

The temple is located in Nan-Men Rd, it is usually opened from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

台南孔子廟 Tainan Confucius Temple
700, Tainan City, West Central District, 南門路2號
06 221 4647

Teacher’s day in Taiwan is celebrated on September 28th. As you can imagine Teacher’s day happens to be Confucius day! So if you are in Tainan during this time make sure to check out the activities the have. As far as I know there is a ceremony at 4am, I hope you don’t have a problem in waking up early.


This poem in the type of ABAB.

Now without any further delay I give you:

A Smile in Confucius Temple

by Adriana

There! In a far away city that never sleeps

Where the center is marked merly by the station

Behind the museum that pictograms keeps,

of great Chinese literature yet without any translation.


Behind the museums lies a temple of knowledge

Surrounded by pagodas, quite winds, and shadowy trees,

Gates carefully placed and wandering students of college.

Welcoming doors and a beguiling detailed marquee.


There! At the entrance, you are offered a ticket by the lady

Without forgetting to ask for your ID before paying the fee

You’ll be surprise there is none if you’ve been living in Tainan lately

And in a instant you’ll further love this city by the sea.


A high step before you go in,

you are welcome by thousands wishes and lucky writings

But your attention is drawn to the magnificent temple within

As the sun shines upon the walls and splendid sightings.


Long halls of relics and history

Musical instruments, studies and time

Gods, dragons, phoenixes, and mysteries

All here in coherence as a physical rhyme.


Oh Confucius Temple! Such a honorable vision!

The first of its kind in the wonderful island of Taiwan

A school not only of letters but of talent and religion

An enduring philosophy of life that will continue on.


You! You are never ending tale

Your walls an ungoing fable

You are a landmark of great scale

To forget you, one is unable.


There! There I stood in front of you

Perplexed and overwhelmed

Reminded that mother was there too

And thus a smile was compelled.

Main Gate
Pagoda at the Confucius Temple
Dragon Marquee
Main Temple
Inner Gate
Relics and writings
Writings
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Gates by Confucius Temple

Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this poem as much as I enjoyed writing and discovering the magnificent Confucius Temple.

Don’t forget to Like and Follow my blog.

Vintage Wheels

Having heard of this event several times before, I was very excited to go, and let me tell you I was not disappointed.

It  was a grand reunion of vintage cars, Buicks, GMSs Dodges, Mustangs’, VMWs, all from the 60′ and 70′.  The oldest I saw was a ’63!!! Let me show you some pictures.

 

The interesting and probably best part is that most of these cars are still in use and the owners just come and park them here for the exhibition. And to tell you the truth, I was not aware that there was so much people with vintage car passion in Guatemala.

This time it was held in the Mars field (campo de Marte) but I have also heard that it is made in San Cristobal and Antigua.


 

These cars are a demonstration that a machine can be so much more than a tool and in this case, more than a simple mean of transportation. It is taking an automobiles to the next level, art!

Having this in mind, I give you the following Limmerick

 

Passion Wheels

by Adriana

 

Although I am inside, a machine that sets me free

wheels and engine that become an extension of me,

It’s my passion

and also fashion.

After you see this beauty, won’t you agree?

 

To finish up my blog post, I would like to share with you my favourite car in the exhibition. I like it not only because the model is remarkable and it makes me think it is a toy car, but also because of the delicate details on the front.

 

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Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this article and don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW me

Walking in the park the other day, mom spotted these beautiful orange flowers. Snapped them and here they are!


Orange

by Adriana

Orange with a spark of light,

shyly hiding in the green

exclusively for my eyes’s delight.

Now I sit here, in front of the screen,

thinking of something nice to write

so I can show you the beauty I’ve seen.


Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed my photograph

and these verses paragraph.

I perhaps I made you smile or laugh

how about a LIKE on your behalf!

Poem – Synced Skin

It’s a beautiful piece of art, but I can’t keep on wondering if this is how we look from the artist eyes? All forced to be the same? All kept in order as the artist commands?


A Poem in the shape of AB,

I give you,

Synced Skin

By Adriana

 

Looking at these cute soldiers tag I stop and think

If carefully made, how come they all have pale skin

If effort and time spent, why square-shape and synced

Equally sized, but unable to lower or rise their chin.

Is this supposed to be? Unable to decide even to blink?

But who is to care? They are merely art and committed no sin,

Or are they us? with brains moulded and lives written in ink?


Thank you for reading!

 

My dear follower,  I hope that my poem you enjoyed

Whether it filled your heart with sorrow or perhaps joy.

My only desire is that my hands of poems never rest

So, I dare you to put my talent to the test.

To one single rule you have, though to abide

Challenge me with a single word for me to comply!!!

Quetzal splendour, magnificent and tender.

Our Independence Day is on September 15th. What best way to honour our 196 years of freedom than writing about one of our most iconic symbols, our national bird, and currency, the Quetzal.

There are more than a few types of quetzals found from southern USA to Central America. But our national bird is the magnificent Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus Mocinno).

Just look at him, isn’t he beautiful?

I wish these pictures were mine, I would be honored to one day make a photography of this unique creature. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find them in the wild, mostly because it is an endangered specie. WAIT! It is not endangered anymore, I just made a quick search and it is a relief to find out the reserves and the efforts to rescue it have paid off and take the Quetzal off the endangers species list.

However it is important to remark that it is impossible to find Quetzals in cages. This is a bird that needs to be free and if it is caged, it dies. This is one of the reasons it is our symbol of freedom.

Features

It is medium size bird, around 40 cm tall. You may even think it is small, but wait until you see the tail, it is around 65 cm. It is because of the long tail that it is also known as the “serpent bird”and the protagonist of several Guatemalan narratives. After all, it a majestic creature.

The females are brownish color and the males are green with red chest, and they do not sing. This is important, but let me tell you more about it in the next section.

Stories

This is a story about the quetzal and our national hero, but more important it is a story about freedom.

When the Spanish conquerors came to America, they had several devises, gadgets, animals and objects that did not exist here. Many natives groups thought they were gods and did everything the Spanish asked for, for example, exchanging their gold for mirrors, and then later, when the time come, the Spanish burn alive their leaders.

There were other groups that were not so easily deceived and decided to oppose and defend their people from the conquest. This was the case of the K’iche people, whose prince was Tecum Uman.

When they confronted the Spanish, Pedro Alvarado appeared in the battled field mounted on a horse. There were no horses in the Americas, so when Tecum Uman fiercely attacked him, he killed the horse first, thinking that the horse and the man were the same beast. When the prince realized his mistake, it was too late and the conqueror thrust his speak into his heart. The death of the prince filled the land with sorrow and the Quetzal, that was his Nahual (like spirit animal) came down to mourn his death. It landed on the hero’s chest and thus tainted his chest feathers with the princes’ blood.

From that day, all male quetzals wear red chest and they have forever silent their song. These are the other reasons why the Quetzal is out symbol of freedom.

Some thoughts

We have bird that cannot be captured, tamed or caged. A bird that reminds us of the shed blood of our people fighting for freedom. And yet it is a bird who has been endangered, at the verge of disappearing because of selfish hunters, who care only about prize or a trophy. That is what happens with people, how can we flourish and progress if we are under the chains of slavery? By chains I mean injustice, fear, corruption, poverty, inequality, insecurity, etc.

This is a land of beauty and wonders, but we have hunters, who put us down, who rob us, who take advantage of us and leave us bleeding. Hunters that are disguise themselves with promises and trick people to be loyal to them, but then burn us alive, what difference is there with the Spanish conquerors? Some of us chose to ignore the hunters and exchange their gold for mirrors, and some of us resist. Either our position we bleed, and we taint our land red because with the spears of those who are in power and abuse of it.

We are the Quetzal people, we are meant to be free. We haven an apparent freedom of 196 years, and we could be prosperous, but our cage is guarded by those who have excluded themselves from the rest of us and make selfish decisions, thrusting spears in our hearts. We are the quetzals, we do not need to sing, because we will remember our red history, but we need to spread our wings and fly. We are the quetzals who need to keep our heads up, strive for a better future and fight for real independence, one in which we will be truly free.

Guatemalan Tamale, to enjoy and be jolly

A delicious delicacy from my country that I am dying to introduce to you.

You can a dish called “Tamale” (rhymes with “Bali”) in almost all countries in Latin America. But it is more traditional in the area of Mesoamerica, that is Mexico to Costa Rica. However, each country has its own speciality and they are all different in their own way.

Over all, it is masa made from maize, filled with mysterious ingredients and wrapped and steamed in a special leaf.

If you have been in a Chinese-speaking country, like Taiwan, you can think about it as a ZongZi (粽子) or Rice Dumplings. You know! the one eaten mostly for the dragon boat festival. If you are not so sure about this festival, maybe you want to check out my post about the Dragon Boat in Tainan.

Zongzi to the left, Tamale to the right

The main difference between the Zongzi and Tamale, besides the obvious shape is that the ZongZi is made from rice and not masa.

Masa Made from Maize

Masa is the Spanish word for dough, but if I straightly write “dough”, you might think that Tamales are made of wheat flour. The dough for tamales is made from corn, but not the yellow corn, it is made from the white one. We usually use the word “corn” to refer to the yellow one and the “maize” to the white one.

This was a simple explanation, but let me give you some interesting details. The flour made form the white corn is called “Nixtamal”. This word is in “Nahuatl”, a local language, and it is formed from the words Nextli, meaning “ashes” and Tamalli which means “uncooked corn dough”.

Mysterious Ingredients

I say “mysterious”, because it depends on the ingredients to determine the kind of tamale.

The traditional Guatemala Tamale only has recado (thick tomato sauce) with chicken or pork meat….. maybe olives, but actually adding any other ingredient would stop it from being really traditional. However, in other countries they do add other vegetables and they are also delicious.

Traditional Guatemala Tamale

You can eat a tamale at anytime, but on Saturday evenings tamale-selling-places  get a red lantern out to indicate they have tamales for sale. Another traditional time to have this delicious food is for Christmas. However, because of the amount of time it takes to make them, we do not usually make them at home, which means that at the beginning of December we go crazy making our tamales order with the person who, to our opinion, makes the tastier tamales of all. Tamales make the perfect combination for our traditional Christmas day. And this year will be the first time in 9 years, that I will have tamales for Christmas again, I am so excited for this.

The Special Leaf

The mixed dough and the ingredients are wrapped in banana leaf and steamed until ready. But do not worry, you do not have to eat the leaf, this would be hard to do, and I guess not very tasty. However, tamales are traditionally presented still with their leaf, and it has to be nicely tucked in.

Variations

In Guatemala there is a large variety of tamales, the difference mostly depends on the ingredients and size.

Small

Tamales blancos (White tamales): Made only with the dough and wrapped in corn leaf.

Tamalitos de Chipilin (Small tamales of Chipilin): Also wrapped in corn leaf, but the dough is mixed with chipilin. This is a leaf that grows mostly in Guatemala and Honduras. These are one of my favorite types of tamales and I love to eat them with with cheese.

Tamalitos de Elote (corn tamales): The dough of these ones is made from the yellow corn, and they are a little sweet.

Medium

Chuchitos (no translation): They have a bell shape and they are made only with the dough and thick tomato sauce. I love to have these as an afternoon snack.

Big ones

Tamal Negro (Black Tamale): They are sweet. Some sugar is added to the dough and instead of vegetables, purnes and raisins are used. But even though they are sweet, they are still made with chicken.

Paches (no translation): These are the sames as tamales, but instead of the corn dough, potatoe is used.


Wow… writing so much about tamales made me hungry, but thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my article.

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An Amalgam of Guatemala’s Prodigy Orchestra and USA’s Rock

After a long time away from my country I was finally able to go to the wonderful national theater and witness a beautiful combination between Guatemala’s Symphonic Orchestra and USA’s Gun ‘n’ Roses.

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I am not a particular fan of the band, I barely knew 2-3 songs, yet I had an unforgettable time because the symphonic orchestra was no ordinary orchestra, it was the junior’s. The first violin was a talented 13-year-old, who played beautifully through the entirety of the show.

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And there is more… As a special guest there was Yahaira Tubac. If you are wondering who that is, she is the prodigy pianist who is only 7 years old and already surprising with pleasant delight the Guatemalan public.

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Here is a picture of her receiving flowers, next to her, there is the talented young violinist.

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Besides promoting the talent of these wonderful young artist, the reason for the presentation to feature them is because it was promoting using music as a way to keep children away from violence. This is a noble cause since the sad number in Latin America are that for every 5 murders 1 takes the life of a child. Sad but true! It is important to create awareness!

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The sound of the classical instruments sounded beautifully, but it wouldn’t have been Gun ‘n’ Roses without the rock band.

They aren’t actually a band, per se, but they are outstanding artist in their field who were called upon for this assembly. Their talents combined transmitted their love for music, passion and made the audience cheer and cheer. They were going to finish after 1.5 hours of playing, but the crow kept asking for and more. They finished up with the well-known “Sweet Child O’ mine”.

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I am proud of the Guatemalan talent. I am eager to hear and see more. So if you are in Guatemala, do not miss the opportunity to witness an unforgettable mixture of national artist playing classical instruments and USA’s 80′ Rock.

I wasn’t able to assist to previous presentations, but they have also covered music from Queen and the Beatles. I am sure that was also majestic.

I found out about this presentation though social media, but if you want to find out more about the local events check out this national theater web page, at the monthly agenda section:

http://mcd.gob.gt/tag/teatro-nacional/?lang=en

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Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this article and don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW me

His Photographs – Day 8 & 9

These couple of days went by and we have been talking more casually. Besides everything he does, he is a photographer. And he is really good, although he is really modest and does not realises how good he is. He has been sending me the pictures he has taken. A part of me gets happy to see he is doing what he likes, but another parts get sad when thinking that I will not see his pictures again. I’d better save them all, I case I don’t see any new one later.

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