By: Rebecca Chu
On our last day in Beijing, we visited China’s arguably most famous landmark. A symbol of China’s might, identity, and technical ingenuity, the Great Wall of China stands as living history connecting today’s generation to the proud history of China.
Sometimes described as a dragon winding over the mountains of China, the Great Wall held military, political, and cultural significance, protecting China’s borders from northern invaders and culture from foreign influences.
The Great Wall is truly a marvel to behold and invokes a deep sense of humility upon first sight. One feels so small when acknowledging the sheer scale of its construction and the costs involved in the forms of money, time, and the expense of human life. However, it is such costs that communicate the fierce tenacity so ever present in Chinese history.
Having researched a little prior to our visit, it was very enriching to be able to walk and experience the Great Wall while understanding and appreciating the reasoning behind its designs and their intended uses.
Despite its impressive structural integrity, the Great Wall bears the scars of graffiti more so than the marks of age or great battles. Initially, I found this to be such a shame and could not comprehend the disrespect demonstrated by visitors over the years. However, I later realized the Great Wall’s history is not yet over. The Great Wall is an exhibition of unity unlimited by time nor dynasty, and as such, it will continue to stand as the perfect marriage and story of both the past and present.