I will end my story of my visit to China with an image I took at the People's Garden in Thames Town. It was of an old woman, the great grandmother of the young child. When she saw me she was reluctant to have her photograph taken, however, the young child was curious. The old lady beamed when she realized that I wanted to photograph the young girl, and it was at this stage they both relaxed.
LEFT: Great grandmother spends time with the younger generation.
As I began to work out a good angle for the photograph, the young girl moved in close to the side of the old lady with a facial expression that to me spelt "defiance". In combination with the old lady's "happy" face I realized that China is a nation for the people and those of the next generation.
Although my visit was short to Shanghai, I had witnessed complete polarisation of Chinese society, from the mega wealthy with their mighty speed boats navigating the Yangtze River alongside the Bund, to the newly weds whose prime concern was having their wedding photographs taken in a replica England. Finally, I had spent time with normal Chinese fighting for a position within their society in which to support the next generation. China is a place of people; 25 million live in Shanghai alone, which is roughly the population of my country, Australia.
Whether the People's Republic will live up to it's name is unsure. The nation has a long way to travel to measure equally with many of its western counterparts, especially in relation to global environmental issues. However, environmental issues aside, it's easy to see that for the most part Chinese culture is vibrant and long-lasting and has not as yet been lost in the drive for western equivalency.
LEFT: An old lady, who when young saw the beginnings of Shanghai, gazes toward Shanghai's perceived future - a tall building surrounded in a cloak of pollution.
I am soon departing for the Falkland Islands off Agentina. The blog will then be back on its original theme - willdife, wild places and conservation.