A Thousand Hands Guanyin

Guizhou Maotai Distillery and Maca Maotai

On 28 July 2018 I was invited to give a congratulatory speech for the launch of Maotai Maca, assisting to the performance of A Thousand Hands Guanyin, among other performances.
Location: Vienna Hall, Garden Hotel, Haidian District, Beijing.
CCTV hosts were Shi Jun and Meng Siyu.

There was also a group of senior ladies, all so elegant. And also here I saw their rehearsal were they appeared without makeup or anything. And other dance groups and singers, see below some.
Yeah Gilbert was happy with all the ladies!

A Thousand Hands Guanyin

The Thousand Hand Bodhisattva dance, also called “A Thousand Hands Guanyin” is a beautifully synchronized flow of movement. The group of dancers who take on this incredible dance are all deaf or with a hearing impairment. The performers are supported by the trainer who uses sign language to help the dancers feel the rhythm and remain in perfect time.
This dance describes the legend that Bodhisattva Guan Yin has one thousand hands. Thousand Hand Guan Yin dance became one of the most popular Chinese dance in the world.
Guan Yin is the bodhisattva of compassion, revered by Buddhists as the Goddess of Mercy. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin which means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”.


It was interesting to see all the dancers during their rehearsal with their trainer, in their simple clothes and no makeup. Then see the later on…
Really impressive to see it up close.

Binzhou City sightseeing

Donkey meat

As mentioned on my other website (https://blog.strategy4china.com/2020/11/binzhou-advanced-technology-high-school/), we had another visit to Binzhou with our team of UWEE, we also were doing some Binzhou City sightseeing, the food and more.
In the evening of 1 September 2020 we drove to Huimin County. Our local friends wanted us to taste again donkey meat.

The donkey meat restaurant was in Weiji town, Weifu road (Huimin County under Binzhou City), named “SiheYuan Xian Lv Yan”

It is close to Wei’s Manor, built in the late Qing Dynasty, looks like a large castle. We visited it in September 2018 during a previous stay, along with our other foreign expert, Harvey, and we had dinner in the same restaurant.

See the variety of dishes. We also bought some donkey meat to take home to Beijing.
See also the other posts about the food in Binzhou:

Lamb dinner: https://blog.strategy4china.com/2020/11/schools-in-shandong-binzhou/
A sumptuous banquet: https://blog.strategy4china.com/2020/11/trip-to-shandong-binzhou/

Binzhou by night

Returning from our donkey adventure we stopped in a popular spot in the city.
Dasha and others wanted to taste the typical desert that was served by a street vendor, called “baobing”, made of shaved ice. The topping is made from fruit and condensed milk. Traditionally, you’ll find fruit like mango, strawberry, lychee, and coconut on baobing, as well as sweet red beans. Many vendors will lay out a huge spread of toppings, so customers can choose whatever they like, see the picture.
The degustation then was a bit disturbed when the chengguan came and all the tricycles had to flee the scene.

People were watching close by some impromptu performances by groups of singers and many were taking pictures with the city lights as the background.

New Beijing Workers Stadium


Few people seem to be aware we will have a new Beijing Workers Stadium, expected to be delivered by December 2022, to be ready for the July 2023 Opening Ceremonies for the 2023 Asian Cup Games. Many were confused why the old stadium was being demolished starting on 5 August 2020.

See how the Stadium looked like and the razing that took a few days only. They used water cannons to reduce the dust.
Well, blame the usual lack of communication by the Beijing Government. Some even say the secrecy is due to the fact the area is “owned by the military”.
The new stadium will be at the same location but with improvements to meet the needs of world-class professional football field.
However it is a fact there is a total lack of clarity how the area will be transformed as it is the location of many restaurants, discos, KTV and other outlets.
Also unclear is what will happen with the Gongti Indoor Stadium: they just started building a big fence around it.
I first reported on it here.

As far as I know most if not all of the venues will be closed at some point. That would also include Legend Beer, among others. It is said “The Workers Stadium will also become an open urban public space for mass sports and cultural activities and a new vitality center of the city.”

A long history and end of life

I have so many stories about that stadium. It was also my training ground to prepare for my marathons, having the complete stadium with its running track only for myself.

The main structure of the Workers Stadium had reached its service life.
It was designed by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Research and was completed and put into use in 1959. It was the largest comprehensive stadium in the eastern part of Beijing. It had a standard football field, a 400-meter rubber track among others. The main building was 64,000 sqm. it was the venue for the first National Games and other large-scale sports events.

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources, the main building of the Stadium was a concrete structure with a design life of 50 years. Since the 1990s, three structural reinforcements and one facility renovation have been carried out. Among them, in order to host the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Workers’ Stadium has undergone comprehensive structural reinforcement in accordance with the 7-degree seismic fortification standard (the Beijing area is an 8-degree seismic fortification area) – the service life is 12 years. At present, the main structure of the Beijing Workers Stadium had reached the end of its service life, and there are potential safety hazards and obsolete facilities and equipment.

By 2018, the National Construction Engineering Quality Supervision and Inspection Center conducted a house inspection and appraisal of the construction. The conclusion was the overall structural safety and seismic resistance of the building seriously did not meet the relevant national standards. It also did not meet the requirements of the Asian Cup and other major international professional football matches. Therefore, it was urgent to upgrade.

The new stadium

After the transformation of the new Beijing Workers Stadium, the elliptical shape of the main building will remain basically unchanged, and it will meet the needs of the internal circular passage while maintaining the proportion of the facade.
At the same time, the reconstruction will keep the original characteristic elements of the construction body basically unchanged, and protect and restore the important characteristic elements, such as flagpoles, gate posts, sculptures, and architectural decoration components.

See a few pictures showing the future stadium and the surrounding area. While some may be “artist rendering” most of the existing structures in the area seem to be gone except for the two main buildings of former “Gongti Yibai”.

You can also see the large new underground facilities with the connection to the new subway lines (should be Line 3 and Line 17, all currently under construction).
See also a view on the new facility being built by CSCEC on the East side of the Stadium: “China Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall and Rehearsal Facilities”.
Nobody talks about this…
And a lot is going on also in the South East corner of the Gongti area. No idea what is coming there.

Sources, among other:

I keep you posted!

Bruce takes us back in time

On Sunday 4 September Bruce Connolly (Radio Beijing) invited us for a talk to present the pictures he took when he visited China in 1992, mostly pictures from Guangdong.

Location was QBar in Sanlitun Nan Lu.


Fascinating indeed to listen to the story of his train trip from Glasgow to Hong Kong in 1989.
Obviously so much has changed. Bruce is also a great photographer. Some of his pictures are on my new website http://www.prc.pics
That all reminds me I should find the time to recover my mountain of negatives, dating from decades ago. For me China started in 1980.

I still remember the many train trips I took towards Pingdingshan (Henan) during the eighties. That time, steam locomotives, no aircon. So we had the windows open. Once arrived we had to take the soot away from our bodies, we looked like coal miners.

“The New Sanxia” 3D movie media event

I was very fortunate to participate as the only foreigner in the making of the 3D HD movie on “The New Three Gorges”, in early November 2015. I still have to work on my well over 1000 pictures.
On 15 December 2015 a Media Event was held in the CCTV Media Center (Fuxing Road) to introduce the movie, “Discovering New Three Gorges”.
See some pictures of the event, some screenshots of parts of the movie and parts of the magazine introducing the movie.

I met many of the experts and film crew and we had a lively banquet later on.
As far as I understand, the movie should come out in March, in several episodes and will be shown on CCTV. Oh boy I am a bit nervous about all that as they forced me to do nearly all the interviews for the movie in Chinese and well, I think my Chinese is still very mamahuhu.
To have an idea about the many exciting places we visited, see this posting. Those were shots made in a previous shooting and they will be mixed with the footage we did.


Yeah, I am not not I am now an “actor”.
More about my findings in another post to come about the seminar of the Leisure Industry (16 January 2016).