Transitions: An Art Form

  • 来源:北京周报
  • 关键字:Transitions,Art
  • 发布时间:2016-05-26 13:52

  The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines transition as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” These transitions should be given special attention.Generally speaking,most people stress and worry when they graduate from high school or university and make the transition to the next important stage in life.Going to a job interview,moving to another city and even starting a family are usually life-changing transitional periods.And when traveling from one culture and moving to a foreign country,a person traditionally goes through a topsy-turvy phase of adjustment called culture shock.

  China will continue to change at a sprint while it further develops every sector and industry,and this change often makes the transition to life in China a stressful one for outsiders.But,the biggest challenges in transitioning typically come down to simple differences between China and the United States.It often comes down to convenience versus inconvenience: being shoe-horned onto trains or buses during the rush hour,watching people commonly ignore traffic signs and boldly inch into surging traffic long before the red light has turned green,or having people peering over your shoulder while you are making personal banking transactions at the teller’s window.Courteous and helpful customer service may be lacking in many areas,but as a developing country,China has made rapid strides in making cultural transitions easier.

  Iron grid fencing has been installed on many streets to create medians,making for better pedestrian control.Banks now have personnel responsible for keeping waiting customers behind yellow lines on the floors in front of teller windows.Even small cards are available on counters to write down your concerns.You need no longer risk your financial business being overheard.Perhaps even more noticeable are the bilingual highway signs and ATMs,lessening the likelihood of mistakes,be they in travel or finance.

  However,change is inevitable in China,and a shop or even a building may disappear overnight.Such changes are new and clear indicators of accepted “development.” Any series of mishaps abroad can make or break one’s final outlook on the entire travel experience.As such,Chinese planners and administrators believe guiding the public through critical transitional measures while the country develops is a top priority.

  Many of life’s transitions are universal,and China has several aspects of its society that celebrate or acknowledge these transitory times,including art and festivals.Beijing,for instance,has a Love Park,located next to the Shangdi Exit on subway Line 13.Within this park are several stone sculptures depicting the various key life cycles,from birth through adolescence,romance,family building and old age.These key phases are symbolically set in a small tranquil area with grass,flowers,shady trees,pagodas and small arcades.The relational progression is clear regardless of one’s education level or literacy.

  Traditionally,the Chinese burn paper with different currencies and values,known as “spirit money,” during the Qingming Festival in early April to commemorate deceased relatives.This show of mourning is said to help provide comfort to loved ones who have passed away.While the elderly still observe this custom,many of the young people have forgotten or lost the understanding of how this ceremony should be conducted.But regardless of the ritual,today many Chinese still hold on to the idea of easing the transition from life to death for loved ones.

  A transition that has gained prominence with the development of medicine and modern life is the advancement from adulthood to a senior citizen.Men are said to experience a “middle-age crisis” as they approach this benchmark.How they handle this progressive aging and whether or not they pay strict attention to their health and welfare are sure to impact the transitional ease and quality of life.

  In making our life-altering strides from one phase to the next,it is important to be conscious of transitions and take care in attending to matters that will make life comfortable and rewarding.China’s rapid development is akin to a relay race.The baton handoffs that lead to further change may seem jarring and unsettling at times.The hope is that we all have the patience and forbearance to help ease these frustrations.

  By Aaron Vessup

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