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Christmas 2006 (1/07)

Basketballs bounce in Xi'an

Zhangye, a deeper look (7/06)

China comes to Virginia (7/06)

Winter Conference 

Happy Birthday, Amity, 
Part 1

Part 2 (11/05)

Bringing Sunshine,
Part 1

Part 2 (10/05)

Summer 2005: (7/05)

Needed: China volunteers

Bluefield College in China

Lantern Festival (2/05)

Village of God (2/05)

Summer 2004:

FBC Richmond (5/20)

Opposites attract (5/26)

Mission Impossible (5/24)

Rules for a new mother (10/24)

Brocade Museum (10/24)

Barbara Diggs at NIM (4/4)

Fujian Earthen Houses (2/14)

Zhangzhou Puppets (2/14)

Merry Christmas

JIE's 50th Anniversary

Oral English Competition

Sam's Page

Virginia Baptists arrive for 2002 SEP, Shanghai - Nanjing

Part 2: in Jining, the program begins

Inner Mongolia's grasslands

Baotou and Wudang Temple

Abby and Sarah in Xi'an

Discovering the Nestorian Pagoda

Eating Zongzi June, 2002

Mary Washington comes to China, Part 1
Part 2 May/June 2002

Xi'an May 2002
Terracotta soldiers
   The Nestorian tablet












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.