Beijing’s Babelish, Beautiful Bravado

Last night my wife and I watched what little we could crib off the Internet of the Olympics opening ceremonies. The spectacle was extravagant, and we saw only the drummers. I thought as I watched, “This is like Babel.” I told my wife, “This is beautiful bravado.”

We don’t want to be entirely negative. By God’s common grace, the Chinese produced something truly beautiful—again, what little of it we saw!

After watching that little portion with our bird, Matt, we decided to troll around the Internet for more. Those crazy Brits have a wild Gorillaz-like (?) Olympics cartoon we didn’t quite follow (we thought the pig was probably America). But no more opening ceremonies footage. None. I felt my Internet rights were violated.

But we did find this…

….apparently a tourism video sponsored by Beijing’s tourism board. The video itself, like the rest of the Chinese efforts to welcome the world, was a massive undertaking. Dozens of what appear to be famous Chinese performers sing, “Beijing welcomes you.” See if you can keep the tune out of your head afterwards. Matt was quite taken with the song, especially anything high-pitched.

But catch these line, repeated several times:

Beijing welcomes you to the start of [sic] new chapter like the creation of heaven and earth. The flowing enchantment and charms are filled with youthful spirit and vitality.

Beijing’s Babelish, beautiful bravado.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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