Four billion people on Planet Earth watched the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics on the eighth day of the eighth month on the eight year of the Third Millennium. 888 certainly defeated 666. Hurrah!
" We are one sovereign China, we are no longer violated by foreign devils, humiliated and forced to accept horrendous edicts. Now everything that occurs in our planet China is our sole responsibility. Our Destiny is in our hands."
Contrary to what some detractors have said I think Chinese officials showed remarkable restraint amid all the magnificence and munificence of the inaugural ceremonies. They reminded the world, particularly the arrogant West that they invented paper and calligraphy. Please, don't even mention the crude seals of the Akkadians and Sumerians. Tacky. Tacky. Even Egyptian hieroglyphics pale in comparison.
The Chinese showed admirable manners in not reminding us that it was they who invented gun powder at least a thousand years before Christ. They used it with great dexterity and efficacy.
The world watched in awe at the never ending creative displays of fireworks. Darlings, those fireworks used to be ancient instruments of war. It was difficult to find a battle in which missiles
did not wreak devastation on one's enemies. Obviously some type of firing instrument was used to unleash this fury. Chinese historians tell us these missiles traveled several kilometers.
There was no mention of Mao. The Cultural Revolution never was. Perhaps it is difficult to mention Mao without the other tragedies. Consequently, they could not show Ju En Lai and Deng Tsiao Peng.
They are imprinted on every Chinese heart, especially Ju.
I would not put my hands in the fire for Chinese sentiments regarding Mao. Despite all his horrendous tyranny he succeeded in two very important things.
He gave China back to the Chinese. He gave them the language of the Mandarins, without a doubt the most difficult language to master. He dragged the Chinese peasants kicking and screaming into literacy. He nearly brought everything down upon himself and his people but in the end smarter and far-sighted heads prevailed.
I was proud to have some Chinese DNA as I watched the ceremonies. My paternal great- grandmother Dona Appollonia Hwang was a full-blooded Chinese lady. She filled her Ming porcelain bowls with nothing but rubies from Burma and coral from Taiwan. She had 366 pieces of Imperial jade rings and necklaces that hung from her swan's neck. Ah Yes! She came from Ningpo, practically a Shanghailander.
Family historians tell me her marriage to my grreat-grandfather Don Eugenio Suarez Martinez was an arranged one. The Suarez clan owned 300,000 hectares of rich land in the Bicol region of the Philippines, in Sorsogon and all that it encompassed. The Hwangs had gold and cash.
Don Eugenio was tall, blonde and blue eyed. A handsome man. Dona Duday as she would come to be nicknamed by her husband always wore a long sleeved jibao/cheogsam made of handwoven and hand embroidered pina. She was tiny and emphasized her slim body by always using flat silk shoes.
One newspaper account of a ball at Malacanang Palace, hosted by the Spanish Governor General notes the Illustrada Dona Appollonia in a red jibao embroidered with gold peonies and a ruby and jade tiara atop her blue-black chignon.
Therefore, if we count all the millions upon millions of long departed Chinese souls and spirits who watched the opening rituals in Beijing from a unique dimension, I can only say that this event was the most portentous event in the early part of the Third Millennium.
I hope China wins the most gold and silver. They deserve it.
I once met Chou - Ju En Lai's widow in Shanghai in the late eighties. She was a member of the Central Committee. I was Advisor on Fashion and Textiles for Shanghai.
'' That is how we are going to launch ourselves in the world. We are going to use textiles. Shanghai will lead the way.''
A most extraordinary woman. Without a doubt one of the many great Chinese who shaped and molded China after 1949.
I can't wait to watch the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. It will be unforgettable.