Uncertain Times
by Ma Kang
As a child, along with both older generations and my contemporaries, I was immersed in the fantasy of Tian’anmen. This was fostered by the descriptions of grand towers and gateways which I encountered in books. Under both the weight of centuries of tradition and contemporary illusions of grandeur, I became lost in a mist of confusing and contradictory words. My nation and I have been following the path of life with a stubbornness and naivety in the midst of both happy and bitter experiences.

I believe that recent economic developments and the constant erosion of traditional culture have infiltrated the city walls of Tian’anmen. With an imposing outer appearance masking a centre devoid of strength or definition, the Forbidden City has gradually been reclaimed by a state of intrinsic weakness, reminiscent of the strait-jacket of previous days. A blank existence is shrouded in layer upon layer of metaphysical haze. Although the lion sculptures of the Goldwater Bridge and those inside the Forbidden City are made from different materials, stone and bronze respectively, they reflect the same spirit of tyranny that has characterized the Forbidden City throughout history.

In the midst of seemingly lucid yet baffling development, the time to remove the hidden disorder remains uncertain.
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