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bounce in Xi'an
a deeper look (7/06)
comes to Virginia (7/06)
Part 1 (11/05)
Part 1 (10/05)
College in China
of God (2/05)
for a new mother (10/24)
Diggs at NIM (4/4)
Earthen Houses (2/14)
Baptists arrive for 2002 SEP, Shanghai - Nanjing
2: in Jining, the program begins
and Wudang Temple
and Sarah in Xi'an
the Nestorian Pagoda
Washington comes to China, Part
Have you ever wondered why some Chinese city names are written with an
apostrophe in the name? The reason is to let the reader know how to
pronounce it. Each Chinese character represents one syllable, and "xian"
can be pronounced as either one character or two. The apostrophe makes it
clear that the name of the city consists of two characters, ‘xi’ and
‘an.’ Xi’an literally means western peace. Xi’an is a historic
city and probably ranks second only to Beijing as a city of great
significance in a country full of significant historical sites. The first
capital city of a unified China was located near here, in 221 BC. Of
course, Chinese culture goes back much further than this, but this was the
first time a ruler was strong enough to conquer all the other regional
kingdoms and to create the nation which came to be known as China.
In modern times, Xi’an has become known worldwide because of the
discovery, in the 1970s, of the terracotta soldiers buried as a part of
the tomb of the first emperor.
Today, Xi’an is both a modern city, bustling with
business and commerce, and a tourist haven for Chinese and foreign
visitors by the hundreds of thousands who visit the city each year to see
the terracotta soldiers and other historic sites.
I visited there in anticipation of preparing the way for
two Virginia Baptist university students who will work with the YMCA in Xi’an
to provide a program of oral English practice and activities.
The YMCA is located in the heart of the city, with easy
access to modern shops, Internet centers, McDonalds and KFC, and the
ancient bell and drum towers, all within walking distance.