My name is Gregmari de los Santos, I'm a two year sophomore at NMH and currently am in China with the HUM 2 class. Today we visited Tian'amen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. Each site left me astonished because of the beauty and detail of each architectural design. In Tianamen Square we saw many monuments about the Chinese revolutionary heroes, including the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. In the Forbidden City, we walked through a set of various gates which were used for security for the emperors when they lived there, and also have cultural significance. When entering the city, we confronted 5 gates where people entered through, each relating to one's social and economic class. The middle gate, where we walked in, was designed for the emperor's entrance only. The decision to have 5 gates is deeply rooted in Chinese history, as the gate represent the 5 relationships of Confucianism. We also saw statue of lions established at opposite sides of the gate openings, and learned their purpose both for the male (order and power) and female (nurturing). Afterwards, the class rode pedicabs to go eat an amazing, home cooked lunch from a local family.
After lunch, we got back on our bus and headed to the Summer Palace, our final destination of the day. The Summer Palace was yet the most fascinating place of all. The beautiful pictures we all took and the amazing gardens we witnessed across many acres were both intriguing and undeniably unique. Each painting on every building, wall, etc. symbolized the detail and accuracy the painters held because of the significance behind them. After departing the Summer Palace we went to dinner at a Manchu Restaurant, and ate a family-style meal with food from the northeast of China to complete our day. Everything was so much fun, and it it is only the first day of our journey!