Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My birthplace - Gansu 甘肃

Rui Xue was born in Zhangye City of Gansu Province, which is located in the northwest of China. Gansu is different from other places in China we covered in the class in the way that Gansu hasn't changed as much as many of China's provinces. The population is still largely rural, and it remains on the frontier and development has lagged in comparison to some of its eastern neighbors.
Every time when we introduce a birthcity, there is so much to talk about. I try to pick something children feel connected or familiar with. We have a girl from Hebei Province. Two girls were excited when they found out they lived in the easternmost and westernmost ends of the Great Wall of China. The westernmost end of the Great Wall of China, Jiayu Pass, is in Gansu Province. The Jiayu Pass remains largely intact, and is in remarkably good condition considering it was built in the 14th century during the early days of the Ming Dynasty.

But Zhengye is different from other part of Gansu Province. The city has numerous streams, abundant sunlight and fertile soil, making it an important agricultural centre for Gansu. Zhangye is famous for the Giant Buddha Temple, in which a two-storey Giant Buddha Hall houses China’s biggest indoor Buddha statue. The gold-plated and painted Giant Buddha is made out of clay and is 34 meters long, 7.5 meters shoulder to shoulder and has feet that are about 4 meters long and the ears are 2 meters long.

Many people visit Zhangye to see the amazing Danxia Landform Geological Park. The unusual colors of the rocks are the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years.
We used play-doh to build Danxia landform model on the paper plate. They mixed the play-doh of different colors to build the colorful mountains. They sprinkled the color sand and even made a person climbing the mountain!

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