Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Beijing Olympics: The Unsung Heros

One of the fascinating parts of arriving so early for the Olympics has been observing all the last minute preparations. The whole city looks as if it has just been completed- and these ladies and gentlemen are putting on the finishing touches.

Their stories will likely go untold by mainstream media, but these are the last trickle of a great tide of migrant workers who made the 2008 Beijing Olympics possible. Millions of rural Chinese migrate to big cities looking for a better life, because backbreaking work in the city pays better than backbreaking work in the country. They take deep pride in the hard work that made this Olympic Games a reality.

Just last night, Eric and I were eating dinner in a local restaurant near our apartment. A deeply tanned and smiling gentleman tapped Eric on the shoulder and offered his work calloused hand. "Huanying Beijing." (Welcome to Beijing) he said as they shook. I found this exchange deeply humbling.

We've heard so much about pollution and politics with this Olympics, but just as in our country, people are distinct from their government. The Olympics are a chance to put policy aside and focus on our shared ideals, which are many. The Chinese deserve a chance and I think if given that chance, the world will be surprised by their zeal and genuine kindness. I feel so honored to be a part of this great moment for this great people.


Beth said...

The greeting to Eric says it all.

Miss B said...

I couldn't agree more. It kinda made me a little weepy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...