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VOLUME ONE: PINGSHAN MANTIS
35th Annual Pingshan Mantis Celebration
1976, I've lived in Korea, Taiwan and China more than
15 years. In 2002, I returned to mainland China to further
research the origins, history and practice of Southern Praying
Mantis Kungfu. Little did I know then, where that quest would
take me. Some nine years later now, I'm still
living in Pingshan Town, Guangdong Province.
Pingshan is a bustling town that some
consider a village. Actually, its a non-stop, 24 hours a day,
metropolis, comprised of some 125 smaller villages, most of
them industrial. In 2004, it was put on the map by the opening
of the first McDonalds' franchise (according to McDonald's
The closest Kentucky Fried Chicken is
still 20 minutes away, but, I expect someone is looking to
open a franchise here soon, especially, since, in all of the
province, the local chickens are noted for their tasty meat
and unique features of "three yellow spots and a beard," that
is, yellow beak, yellow feathers, yellow feet and red
Pingshan is located in the Longgang
District of Shenzhen City, east Guangdong province. Guangdong
Province is situated in the southern most part of China and
has a population of some one hundred million people comprised
of 42 individual ethnic groups, one being the Hakka people.
Very fertile, with as little as 15% of it's land under
cultivation, the province still produces twice the national
average of rice.
Pingshan in red, Hometown of Kwongsai
Jook Lum Mantis in China
Legend states that the capital city of
the province, Guangzhou, was founded by five celestial beings
who landed from the sky riding on the backs of five flying
goats, each with a rice stem in it's mouth. The five gods,
wishing this area to be forever famine free, gave the ability
to grow rice to the local peasants.
After the beings departed, the goats
turned to stone. In 1959, Guangzhou paid tribute to these
benevolent goats and erected a granite statue in Yiexiu Park,
Central district, as the city's symbol. Today, there are many
"goat statues" in the "Goat City", but perhaps, Yiexiu park
has the most impressive.
Update - 2006: Kentucky Fried Chicken has been available for a year or so now. And Pizza Hut has moved 20 minutes away!
Update - Jan. 2010: KFC arrived
arrived in 2006. Pingshan Town is booming. The
express train started construction this month. Pingshan
soon will be "bullet" linked to Beijing and
Five Goat Statue, Yexiu Park, Guangzhou
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