Chinawall1A visit to the Great Wall of China at Badaling, located 60 kilometres to the North-East of downtown Beijing, no doubt, leaves an indelible mark in the life of any tourist because of the fun of climbing the magnificent scenery.

This was part of the experience of participants at the ongoing 2015 Seminar on Chinese Culture and Economy for Government Officials from Developing Countries in China as they, on Sunday, 24th May, 2015, visited the Great Wall at Badaling, which remains open to a large number of tourists who continue to flood in for attractions.

With 37 participants from 15 countries on a guided tour of the Great Wall, one will apparently agree with the Chinese saying that, “He who doesn’t reach the Great Wall is not a true man,” as it does not only portray the Chinese spirit of overcoming difficulties but also the fact that the Great Wall was built with the sweat and blood of labouring people of ancient China.

Also, information available reveal that the Great Wall of China was built initially as a military defence project under the order of the Emperor of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-256 BC), a time when China was not yet unified and was controlled by several independent states and each learned to build the Great Wall to protect their territories.

However, the Emperor of the State of Qin, Qin Shi Huang was said to have unified China and started the first dynasty, where he ordered a reconstruction of the Great Wall by forcing nearly one million people to work for the project.

The story of the Great Wall of China will never be complete without what is widely referred to as, “Weeping over the Great Wall;” it tells of a woman, Meng Jang Nv, whose husband was forced into service by Imperial officials and sent to build the Great Wall and never returned.; and she was said to have gone in search of her husband only to discover he was dead and she wept bitterly such that a part of the wall collapsed, revealing his bones.

Till date, the story of Weeping over the Great Wall remains one of China’s four great folktales as it brings back memories of great contributions made by ancient Chinese labours even as contemporary China continues to enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja

(Reporting from Beijing, China)