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					              South Florida Chinese Connections
                      News, activities and upcoming Events


                  March 19, 2007

                                Good Morning from Qingdao and Qufu in
                            Shandong Province, PRC

                            South Florida is fortunate to have two sister cities from Shandong
                            Province. Boynton Beach has Qufu and Miami Qingdao. In an effort to
                            further introduce these two cities, we will tell a little about both. What
                            one immediately senses is the dramatic difference in new China with
                            the booming port city of Qingdao and the history of Qufu that spans
                            well over 3,000 years and is the birthplace of Confucius.

                           This week we want to give just a taste of both and how important the
                           sister city program can serve and help in promoting connections for all
segments of the Chinese community in South Florida. This is even more important because the
annual Sister City International Conference will be in Fort Lauderdale in July… in just a few
months. We’ll have much more later, but for now let’s go to Qingdao… then on to Qufu.

   Qingdao, a beautiful seaside city, is located in the southeast part of Shandong Province. To
the east, a short distance across the Yellow Sea, lie Korea and Japan, making Qingdao an
important city for international trade. For thirty three years, up to 1949, Qingdao was a colony of
Germany and Japan. Thus, Qingdao has a great deal of European architecture. This foreign
architecture -a remnant of the colonial past- now beautifies this seaside city. The red roofs, green
trees, blue sea, and azure sky form a bright and colorful picture of Qingdao. The city is
sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient. Surrounded by the sea on three sides,
Qingdao attracts many tourists with its charming seascape. Sights like the Eight Passes Villas,
the Zhan Bridge, Wusi Square, Mt. Laoshan, will help you remember Qingdao. Just walking on
the sand and listening to the surf breaking on the beach becomes enjoyable. Qingdao offers food
with distinctive flavors--especially seafood. So take this chance to enjoy the delicious seafood of
Qingdao. Also, Qingdao is the home of the famous Qingdao (Tsingtao) Beer. The Qingdao
Municipal Government recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and has further plans to
develop tourism in Qingdao. To enhance the tourism industry, Qingdao now sponsors the
Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Qingdao International Sea Festival, Beach Culture
Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival. In cooperation with the
Beijing Olympic Games 2008, Qingdao will hold the Sailing Competition in the Olympic
Games in 2008. This great event brings a great opportunity for this city to build its bright future.
With our education and commerce initiatives and sister city connections we have much to do.
As most people know Confucianism has had the most enduring and profound effect over Chinese
culture for over 2500 years. As time went on, Confucius became respected as a sage, and the
temples to Confucius were built as a landmark for all of China. Among them, the Temple in Qufu,
in the hometown of Confucius, is the most famous and the largest. Located inside the south gate
of Qufu, the Temple of Confucius is a group of grand buildings built in oriental style. Together with
the Summer Palace in Beijing and the Mountain Resort of Chende, the Temple of Confucius in
Qufu is one of the three largest ancient architectural complexes in China.

Studying the Confucian analects (his writings) for more than eighty generations has focused on
the six arts to becoming a well-rounded individual. They are propriety, music, archery,
charioteering, writing, mathematics and the old Lu culture present during Confucius time. Much
has changed in the rest of China, but here they have built a wall around the old city to preserve
as much as they can as long as possible. For over a thousand years getting a good job in China
depended on knowledge of the Confucian analects. In order to preserve the Confucius standards
the Confucius Family Mansion was built in the traditional Chinese architectural style, the Mansion
of Confucius is the best preserved noble mansion with along history. It covers a total area of
160,000 sq km and was known as the First Family Under Heaven. The last descendant of
Confucius left Qufu in 1949. The third location in Qufu that is considered a “must see” when there
is the Confucius Forest where over 100.000 of his descendents are buried. All three sites are on
the World Heritage list. More than 100,000 tourists visit Qufu every year mostly from Asia where
Confucius is still held in the highest regard and considered to be the person who has had the

                               greatest impact on their lives… In considering his influence for over
                               2500 years, they would be correct. Today with more than 130
                               Confucius Institute locations (with many more to come) outside of
                               China, the influence of Confucius can only grow greater than ever
                               before. And Qufu has been the sister city of Boynton Beach for
                               more than six years. A relationship we should give all our support.

                               With careful nurturing South Florida is well-positioned to continue
developing strong ties with China. With Miami and Qingdao leading the way with economic
development, commerce and trade and Palm Beach County doing the same with South Florida
educators, Boynton Beach and Qufu for what hopefully will be our own Confucius Institute, we will
see the merging of respect for what is traditional and held in great reverence with the new…
anxious for the next step that will give all of us the ability to put our connections to their highest
and best possible use with our sister city friends in Shandong and with help from Confucius.

The connections newsletter is published weekly by The Kongdan Foundation and has in
less than two months reached an audience of over 2,500 people every week. Suggestions
for future topics are always welcome. Feel free to pass along to family, friends and others
who may have interest in China. Thanks.
                                                                     Dan DeCarlo
                                                                     dantzu@att.net

				
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