Today I was assigned to Nanjing, Jiangsu, for my NSLI-Y Summer 2017 Program (with ma girls Hayley & Jessica). I’m PUMPED because Nanjing is a city with an extremely deep history, great food, and more great food! Lots of food! FOOD! (Don’t be surprised if food is the most extensively discussed topic in this post.)
Where is Nanjing? 南京在哪里?
Nestled along the heart of the lower Yangtze River, Nanjing is the second-largest city in the eastern region of China. As the capital of the Jiangsu Province, Nanjing is a hub for transportation, politics, business, culture, food, and more. With attractions like the Presidential Palace, and Confucius Temple, it is also a popular tourism destination. These features of the city, however, aren’t the only things drawing people to Nanjing.
THE HISTORY of Nanjing is perhaps its most interesting, yet harrowing characteristic. In 1937, when Nanjing was the capital of the Chinese Nationalist Party, the Japanese Empire began the Second Sino-Japanese War by launching an all-out invasion of the country. Nanjing was eventually captured by the Japanese–what followed was a horrific combination of mass and systematic murder and rape of the people of Nanjing by Japanese troops, now often referred to as “The Rape of Nanking” (yes, Nanking–they pronounce it wrong). While the city has since recovered, there is very much still a sense of hostility towards Japan for their actions during the conflict.
The history of the city is pretty terrible, but it’ll be interesting to learn about it and to experience the aftereffects myself–definitely a great lesson in international politics.
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Onto a more pleasant note, THE BEAUTY of the city itself if breathtaking. I’ll just let the photos do the talking.
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It doesn’t stop there! We haven’t gotten to THE FOOD yet–staples of Nanjing Cuisine include tangbao, or 汤包 (similar to 小笼包), duck (YES), “Eight Delicacies Soup” (a soup with a variety of seafood and other yummies), and something interesting, duck blood soup. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy that, but I’ll certainly give it a try! Again, I’ll let the photos (derived from CNN) do the talking here.
(side note: I love dumplings ! so much !)
Honestly, aside from learning Chinese, the thing I’m most excited about is the food. Let’s hope I find a good gym membership!
南京, 中国, 我爱你!