Thursday, June 29, 2006

ming of ka ching

The following is a rap written by Amherst College’s Rick Griffiths, one of the participants in the CIEE’s faculty development seminar. Just to give you some background: a) Shi Ming was the organizer and leader of the seminar; b) Chinese call Europeans and Americans big noses; c) The Bai (pronounced by) are a Chinese ethnic minority; d) During a performance of traditional dance, we heard an explosion and the lights went out for about twenty minutes; and e) we often had meals at round tables with large "lazy Susans" in the middle with plates of food to share.

This may be one of those you-had-to-be-there type things in order to appreciate.

Ming of Ka Ching

Listen, kids, the feats I sing
Of mighty Ming, King of Ka Ching,

Prince of one great dynasty,
The noble house, C I E E.

With his horde of big nose scholars
Blazed a trail of US dollars.

Shang’hai to the Himalayas
Answered thousand merchant prayers.

Gave up teachers’ bookish jargon;
Spoke the global tongue of Bargain.

Swept up jade, tea, and treasure,
Weighed down luggage beyond measure.

Locals gasp; tourists scoff;
Pray that Lucky Air can still take off.

Minglings wolfed down rice and spice,
But, burned once, still ate twice.

Spin the wheel, pick a dish.
Is it duck? Is it fish?

What goes round will come back.
Is it beef? Is it yak?

Is it hot? Is it noble?
Or unpeeled and microbial?

Fear no fat, no flesh nor sodium,
At the worst, you’ve got Imodium

Locals gasp; tourists scoff;
Pray that Lucky Air can still take off.

Ming did wonders more than seven;
Let no rain fall from heaven;

Kept wild drivers on the road;
Kept the plan from overload.

Made non-stop shoppers hop
With a clap. “Chop, chop.”

Kept the pace through China’s foment;
Served up countless Kodak moments.

Showed eco- ethno- bio- diversity
With no hint of perversity

‘Cept for smirks and smiles
At the proud Bai lifestyles.

The folk are happy – no regrets,
If only they can be Rockettes:

Wave that fan, stomp those shoes,
Dance so hot, you blow a fuse.

Show goes on, no regrettin’
Even if you are Tibetan.

Wily Ming outwits the guides,
Lifts the veil on China’s other sides.

So, Chairman Ming, we bid adieu,
No place we wouldn’t go with you.


Lijiang, Yunnan, June 16, 2006

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