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Winter in my city

Popularity 4Viewed 4496 times 2016-1-25 18:47 |System category:Life

                              Situated in the midland of Shandong Province, my hometown Yanzhou is a rather small administrative unit affiliated to Jining, a medium-sized prefecture-level city. Due to its tiny territory, there are hardly any well-known scenic spots or any of the world’s top 500 enterprises to help boost its international fame or economic power. It has remained a quiet and peaceful town for centuries. In terms of its climate, my city has a distinctive season division and it’s said to be one of the few cities nationwide that have no mountains within its boundary. Therefore, it’s far from a tourist resort. In traditional beliefs, it’s universally held that every city has its unique temperament and characteristics, whether being open, vigorous, sophisticated or being reserved, composed and simple. The nature of my city can best be interpreted in its winter time, a season of both dynamics and statics combined.                             On the one hand, as winter sets in, my city becomes more lonely and desolate, with its streets, lanes, squares and parks empty and silent, practically deprived of all its ever noisy crowds and flowing vitality. The lowest temperature in winter can drop down to as low as minus 15 degrees centigrade. Except for those working people who have to regularly commute to and from workplaces, idle residents would rather stay at home to keep warm if they have nothing pressing to deal with. The heating system in my city is super nice, which lasted four months, starting from 15th, Nov to 15th Mar the following year. The agreeable indoor temperature creates a cozy atmosphere for households to enjoy a luxurious life. The elderly are accustomed to lounging on the sofa, playing chess or reading newspapers wearing their old-fashioned presbyopic glasses or simply attending to their pets or flowers; young couples can spend more honeymoon-like time gossiping about their favorite stars and big-shot or cooking meals together; free from school work, children can fully indulge themselves in drawing cartoons or playing computer games if they are allowed some personal space. People of small cities share very strong family reunion values. In classical literary works, home is usually described as the warmest place where an injured soul can regain peace and quiet. Home means parents, love and sense of belonging, irrespective of your nationality, race, religion, family background or social status. It’s a pleasant feeling for a family to gather around the dinner table with appetizing aroma rising up above the steaming hot dishes, talking and laughing, while the snowflakes whirling up outside. In the morning hours before daybreak, which comes much later than in other seasons, the sky hang like a dark dome, little by little, minute by minute, the dark curtain lifted up, then it turns into whiter and brighter. All sounds are hushed; a profound silence prevails over all. Once or twice, you may hear a slight crack of twigs broken off by the wind or the occasional twittering of early birds, which signifies that another day of biting cold is with us. At this time of the year, people become more sluggish and inactive. They would talk less and excise less but sleep and rest more. Just like squirrels and bears, they consciously or subconsciously choose to respite for a while to recuperate and build up strength for the spring revival.          
                       On the other hand, winter is also a season of great clamor and excitement. That is when the Spring Festival is drawing nearer. Spring Festival is a special occasion for family reunion and bliss, which witnesses long queues of returning passengers, shopping carnivals, family and friends gatherings and parties, loud music for promotion, the incessant bursts of fireworks, and people’s cheerful chatting and laughing. Walking on the streets decorated with lanterns and festoons, the ear-piercing honking from vehicles, live melody blaring out from loudspeakers, and the buoyant babbling of the crowd produced a hilarious symphony of festive carols. As the New Year is closing in, every family set about their annual routine of the clean-up and preparation for the family reunion dinner. Nearly all family members have a part to play in the big campaign, with men cleaning up rooms, wives doing loads of laundry, grandmas chopping meat stuffing and making dumplings and children acting as worthy assistants for adults. Chinese New Year is a dynamic festival when the whole country get moving and acting in similar ways. For a small city, people attach more significance to traditions and customs. We bustle around, going about our daily businesses, but we are happy and contented in spite of coldness and fatigue. The true meaning of life lies in problems of livelihood rather than great fame and achievements.                                                
                    Winter in my city is a beautiful picture of quietness and activities. You can experience a different kind of lifestyle, slow, serene and unadorned. Welcome to our small city to enjoy its tranquility and hospitality of its people. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report MichaelM 2016-1-26 14:10
Beautifully and skillfully written. I've not read anything more inviting in a very long time.
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2016-1-26 18:37
given its proximity to confucius' hometown, the inherent bent of being philosophic is well demonstrated in this one.
Reply Report Ashikujaman 2016-12-26 01:20
Good Writer. I am in Nanjing. Nanjing winter time very cold and summer time very hot. Because, i am.not suitable For this weather. My country weather is not like China.

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