Friday, December 11, 2009

Tai Shan - Chin Village People & The Big Meal

Spent firecrackers outside the new building.

The view of the Chin Village from the roof of the new building. The village itself is about one square city block of brick buildings surrounded by mostly rice fields. The three tallest buildings are the two shown in this picture along with the newly dedicated one.

I was curious as to what the purpose of the new building was before the trip, and still a bit unsure of what it is. It appears mostly to be a big central meeting hall where villagers can have celebrations, similar the the one we were here for. The main room on the ground floor was the largest room with an adjoining room next to it where the shrine was. Staircases are located on both sides of the main room leading to two separate rooms on the second floor. One, I believe, is a school area. And the other is another meeting room, which I was told not everyone was allowed in. On the roof is a large open space, suitable for outdoor events, and the building's only bathroom (a small room in the corner with a single squat toilet).

Here I am with my brother Ed paying our respects at the main shrine in the new building before the ribbon cutting ceremony for the dedication of the new building. Three large roast pigs were brought in for the ceremony and celebration.

Outside, villagers waited for the speeches to end and the cutting of the ribbon.
Many of the men were in charge of running things and the women sat, or stood, mostly together watching.

My Mom and Dad, along with a long line of other ribbon cutters, and their "ribbon girls".

The principal donars, friends, and guests from the U.S. posing for a group picture in front of the new building after the ribbon cutting. Alan and I are on the far left.

As the ceremony was going on outside, in adjacent building, the food was being prepared for everyone in attendance. Many were from neighboring villages, all invited to celebrated the dedication of the new building.

Some of the food was prepared on site but most of it was brought in, catered by the best restaurant in the neighboring city.

Roast Goose (above) being chopped, and chickens (below) laid out ready for serving.

The main hall where most of the people were fed. We sat upstairs, in the smaller room with the donars and other dignitaries in attendance.

The overflow, mostly women, sat outside.

Alan, sharing the first course of soup with a relative and our bus driver. We all sat on sawhorse benches, eight to a table.

The meal itself was endless. Dish after dish was brought to the table and it was definitely more than we could eat. Soup, Shrimp, Chicken, Roast Pork, Goose, Duck, Stewed Pork, Lamb, Vegetables, it just kept coming. There was Chinese Rice Wine to wash down anything you were unsure of. It was all very good but we ended up having to leave after around 10 dishes were served. We had a quick stop to make to find my Mom's village before returning to the Chin Village later for dinner.

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