i’m 23 years old, and only wish i could be half as cool as the 70 year old ladies.

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Happy Olympic Day to you!  I think the thing I am most excited about for the Olympics this year is the adorable mascots.  They were EVERYWHERE in China, and I NEVER got tired of seeing them.  🙂    I bought a coffee mug with Beibei (the blue one) on it, and I wash it out every morning, leaving half a dozen clean ones gathering dust in the cupboard, cause I love drinking from it.  🙂  I can’t wait to see them perform (I hope!) at the Opening Ceremonies tonight.

In the meantime, let’s get to know our 5 friends:

The 2008 Olympic mascots were unveiled in Beijing on November 11, 2005 – 1,000 days before the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing Games. The five “Fuwa” – one to represent each of the Olympic Rings – carry a unifying message of friendship and peace, particularly aimed at the world’s children. They were designed to convey the Olympic spirit and to express the playful qualities of a young group of close friends. Their mission is to help Beijing 2008 spread its theme (One World, One Dream) to every continent. Fuwa translates to good luck dolls or children carrying blessings.

Each of the Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name, which in China is a way of expressing affection towards children. Four of China’ most popular animals are represented, along with the Olympic Flame. The five Fuwa are Beibei (a fish), Jingjing (a panda), Huanhuan (the Olympic Flame), Yingying (a Tibetan antelope) and Nini (a swallow). When you put the five names together – Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni – the phrase means “Beijing Welcomes You.”

Bebei

Beibei, the fish, represents the blue Olympic ring, prosperity and the sea. Fish and water symbolize prosperity in traditional Chinese culture. A fish also represents surplus in harvest. The lines of the wave designs in her headdress are based on Chinese paintings of the past. Beibei, who is said to be “gentle and pure,” is strong in water sports.

 

 

 

 

 

Jingjing

Jingjing, the panda, represents the black Olympic ring, happiness and the forest. He is said to be “charmingly naïve and optimistic,” to make children smile and be noted for strength. The lotus designs in his headdress are based on paintings from the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1234) and symbolize “the lush forest and the harmonious relationship between man and nature.”

 

 

 

 

Huanhuan

Huanhuan, the Olympic Flame, represents the red ring, passion and fire. He is considered the big brother among the Fuwa and stands in the center “as the core embodiment of the Olympic spirit… He inspires all with the passion to run faster, jump higher and be stronger.” The designs on his head ornament are based on the Dunhuang murals and include aspects of traditionally lucky Chinese designs. Huanhuan, who is “outgoing and enthusiastic,” is strong at ball games.

 

 

Yingying

Yingying, the Tibetan antelope, represents the yellow ring, health and earth (particularly the vastness of China’s landscape). The species, which is unique to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, was one of the first animals put under protection in China and its selection here is meant to reflect Beijing’s commitment to a Green Olympics. Yingying’s head ornament incorporates design elements from the Qinghai-Tibet and Sinkiang cultures, as well as the traditions of Western China. He is quick-witted, fast and agile, excelling in track and field events.

 

 

Nini

Nini, the swallow, represents the green ring, good luck and the sky. The golden-winged swallow is one of the most popular designs on kites flown by Beijing’s children in spring and summer and her design is based on these kites. Swallow is also pronounced “yan” in Chinese, and Beijing was called Yanjing as an ancient capital city. Nini, who is “innocent and joyful” excels at gymnastics.

I’m reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy right now and I love it.  It is required reading for me for what we are doing on campus, but even if it wasn’t I’d be reading it.  It is helping me to understand so much about developing a Christian worldview and how our culture shapes us more than realize.  I wish I had read this as an incoming freshman because it would have definitely changed the way that I understood and expressed Christianity in the classroom setting.  You should check it out.

Today I read a little section about the Trinity that is really illuminating for me.  The Trinity is something I do not understand at all.  I’ve only heard a pastor preach on it once, and I don’t really understand the significance of it for our faith, but this helps a little bit, and has me wanting to know more.  I think it speaks for itself.

The balance of unity and diversity in the Trinity gives a model for human social life, because it implies that both individuality and relationship exist within the Godhead itself.  God is being-in-communion.  Humans are made in the image of a God who is a tri-unity–whose very nature consists in reciprocal love and communication among the Persons of the Trinity.  This model provides a solution to the age-old opposition between collectivism and individualism.  Over against collectivism, the Trinity implies the dignity and uniqueness of individual persons.  Over against radical individualism, the Trinity implies that relationships are not created by sheer choice but are built into the very essence of human nature.  We are not atomistic individuals but are created for relationships.

…”The Church as a whole is an icon of God the Trinity, reproducing on earth the mystery of unity in diversity”…”Human beings are called to reproduce on eath the mystery of mutual love that the Trinity lives in heaven.”