One of the things that I love about living in a city like Washington D.C. are the vast amount of museums, galleries,
theaters and frestaurants offering flavorful cuisines. But, the one thing I love about living here the most is the opportunity to expand my knowledge and interests.
Over the last few months, I have had an opportunity to experience new, fusion foods, attend fabulous performances by rising stars at the Smithsonian, sit on a bench with the U.S. Capital in the backdrop, and on any day, visit a museum just minutes away from my house.
Just yesterday, I visited the exhibit on the Terra Cotta Soldiers: Guardians of China’s first emperor. Now, this exhibit was phenonminal. These exquisite pieces were excavated in 1974 upon surprise by a group of peasants searching for water during an unbearable drought. Now, I am not talking about one or even ten sculptures. I am talking about an entire kingdom. You see, according to history, China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, believed that there was life after death, and that it was imperative for him to have his soldiers to protect his kingdom; his muscians and entertainers to entertain him; and other necessities once he left this world. As a result, thousands of workers and craftsmen spent years creating lifelike warriors and entertainers for his tomb.
As I managed to make my way through the exhibit among large crowds of people, I became fascinated with this man with whom I had never heard about until recently. Here was a man who spent a large part of his life preparing for death because he believed even in the after-life he would remain emperor (in some respects similiar to the Egyptions who filled their emperor’s tombs with all the necessities they would need). And, by the way, if you did not know, Qin Shihuangdi was also the visionary behind the Great Wall of China with building of the wall beginning during his reign.
Looking at these life-like statues, which offered so much detail and insight into this period of ancient history, I couldn’t believe that I was looking at a series of more than 2000 year old sculptures in a museum in downtown D.C. And, it made me wonder, what would Qin Shihuangdi think of all this fascination behind him now of a world that did not even exist when he was emperor? And, what would he think of today’s world in comparison to his own?
If you are interested in the exhibit, visit the National Geographic Society Web site for details and to purchase tickets.