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Feature: An unexpected memorial in panda's hometown
4/17/2019




47 French guests arrived in Baoxing, southwest China, to honor the man who first discovered the giant panda.

CHENGDU, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Baoxing, a quiet town hidden in steep mountains and desolate canyons in southwest China, hummed as 47 French guests arrived Monday to honor the man who first discovered the giant panda.

About a century ago, Father Armand David, a French Catholic priest, zoologist and botanist, came across a black and white fur hide in Baoxing County, the city of Ya'an, Sichuan Province, which was found to belong to a species totally new to science -- the giant panda.

With respect to David and curiosity about China, a group from David's hometown, Espelette, France, came to the village 150 years later, including the descendants of David's brother.

The active promoters of the journey, the Darraidou couple, however, were not among the visitors. Andre Darraidou, also a former mayor of Espelette, died of illness Wednesday last week.

FIRST AND FOREVER GUEST

Andre Darraidou was among the very first French to visit the village.

He made four trips to China, the first in 2000 to follow in the footsteps of David and the most recent in 2017, actively planning for the 150th anniversary of the giant panda's scientific discovery.

During his trip in 2004, Darraidou worked temporarily as a chef in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, using peppers from his hometown to cook chili chicken, a traditional Sichuan dish. He donated the proceeds from the food to Baoxing for the construction of a giant panda exhibition hall.

On Monday morning, beside the giant panda exhibition hall in the county's Catholic church where David lived, two glasses of wine were set up next to Darraidou's picture, as these wines were his favorite.

His Chinese friend Gao Fuhua told others that Darraidou was a tall, friendly man who was able to speak simple Mandarin like "nihao" (hello) and "xiexie" (thanks) and was able to eat with chopsticks. He added that in Sichuan, the province famous for its spicy cuisine, the foreigner never showed any discomfort at the table but ate what the locals ate.

BRIDGING GENERATION BY GENERATION

Both the locals and French guests familiar with the history would agree that Darraidou was the "bridge" between the two small towns.

For nearly 130 of the 150 years since David discovered the giant panda, the two worlds were totally isolated until Darraidou's visit along with David's descendants and countrymen.

The former French mayor's frequent visits drew the interest of the French ambassador to China and other dignitaries at the time, making Baoxing known to foreigners as the hometown of the pandas, which also chimed in with Baoxing's aspiration to develop cultural tourism.

Giant pandas, which once surprised David and inspired Darraidou with an image of another world, now gave the 47 guests a dream within reach.

"It is a dream for all the French to see pandas," said Jean Marie Iputcha, the incumbent mayor of Espelette. "Seeing pandas at the zoo is different from watching them in their natural environment. We can feel that they are happier in their hometown."

In the Bifengxia Nature Reserve, the French guests saw rolling giant pandas for the first time, who were climbing up and down the trees, hanging upside down and munching on bamboo, a stark contrast to the specimen in the Natural History Museum in Paris.

Jean David, 72, the great-grandson of David's brother, was surprised by China's endeavor to preserve the church where David stayed and the history of the giant panda discovery.

"I hope mine and my brother's children can not only come to visit China but also learn Chinese because China is both today and the future," said Jean David.

Iputcha is to retire next year, but he hopes to keep in touch with Sun Qian as he found "the exchanges between Sichuan and Espelette important."

Sun Qian, former vice mayor of Ya'an, has been an enthusiastic promoter together with Darraidou since they first met in 2000.

He spent 10 years studying the history and culture of the giant panda before he compiled a book entitled "Notes of the Giant Panda Culture." The book, published in Chinese, French, and English, helps worldwide readers better understand the black and white animal.

Oriane Duchemin, 17, is the youngest member in the French group. She did not hear about David until six months ago when she and her parents prepared for the trip.

"I want to become an ambassador when I come back home and tell my friends and others my experience here and David's story about pandas," said Duchemin.

 


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本目录中最多阅览的文章

朱易 : 马鞍峰教会的增长及其深远影响 (1) 
许多前来参加每年一次牧师研讨会的牧师感到(2003年人数达到二十五万之多),他们正经历著一场由华理克牧师主导的改革运动,他们好像又回到了激动人心的马丁路德改教运动的时代,不同的是他们可以与领导今天这场改革的领袖相遇和交谈。

华理克牧师认为马丁路德时代的改革是让教会清楚教会所相信的是什么,这也是我们今天还在传讲的信息和教义,而今天的改革是让教会清楚教会要做什么


第二次宗教改革的呼声 
新兴教会的运动是教会的第二次宗教改革, 它将彻底改写教会历史, 并开创全新的教会时代.

朱易 : 马鞍峰教会的增长模式和教会市场法的危机 (1) 
除了“目标导向”的增长公式,许多牧师认为华理克牧师还有增长的秘诀,但华理克牧师认为他的增长策略其实是十分简单,归纳起来只有三条.

不少学者持怀疑的态度, 他们认为“目标导向”不过是将传统的基督教原则作了不同的包装。




《断背山》风头正健,价值观江河日下 (1) 
对基督徒而言,这部影片只不过是一个用艺术包装起来的同性恋合理的说教。但这一次,基督徒却无法用忽略它的存在的方式来反击它,他们必须寻找新的方法来坚守传统的战线。


朱易: 他的正面思维影响了全世界 (1) 
但是斯凯勒在教会界配受尊重,除了他在教堂的建造上独树一帜外,他的人品和神学上也颇为出色。他是少数几个没有丑闻的电视布道家之一,而让他成为非主流教会和许多基督徒仿效的对象的原因是,他的讲道着重正面信息,用正面思维看问题。


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