CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2003 |
Sometimes tradition is just not enough. Or so Koji Wada has learned. Wada, the owner of Kasuri Dyeworks in downtown Berkeley, is spending this week closing his shop, unrolling, rerolling and packing the bolts of ornate fabrics that have been his business for more than 30 years. The soft plumes of silk suspended in Wada's shop are used to make kimonos, the traditional dress of Japanese men and women. Decades ago, Japanese men began abandoning kimonos for Western dress.
June 25, 1992 |
People in striped robes sit under aspen trees, drinking tea dosed with black pepper and eating shish kebab sprinkled with curry-type spices. But they don't eat curries; they tend to flavor stew in the Persian fashion, with fruit instead of spices. They also eat steamed dumplings, lamb with noodles and other spicy dishes from western China--those remote western provinces that Chinese regional cookbooks ignore.
October 20, 2001 |
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is talking about Central Asia while, thousands of miles away, the United States is bombing it. For years, Ma has been planning a project that's now come to fruition: an East-meets-West musical overview of the cultures and countries linked by the network of trading routes known as the Silk Road. Tonight, an international gathering of 13 musicians--dubbed the Silk Road Ensemble--will join Ma in Washington for the first concert of its American tour.
September 10, 1995 |
If the Silk Road traders of 2,000 years ago were to guide their camel caravans into the bustling new bazaars here, it wouldn't take them long to cut a deal. The Chinese stereos, Korean televisions and Japanese cameras might baffle them, but they wouldn't miss a beat haggling over Oriental carpets, Iranian fruit and Indian sandals.
November 13, 1994 |
The music began as we stepped off our bus in the adobe village of Wupu in northwestern China. Barely perceptible at first, a seductive whine gathered force as it welled up in the throats of middle-aged men and reverberated from their long-necked stringed instruments and sheep-skin tambourines. Next came the dancers--a troupe of little girls, 6 or 8 years old, with winsome smiles, velvety brown eyes and shiny pigtails.
January 11, 1998 |
High in the jagged Pamir Mountains, where wolves and snow leopards prowl a desolate no man's land, small squads of men are fighting a losing battle against a rising tide of opium and heroin sweeping toward the West. Foot soldiers in the war on drugs, these police and customs agents stand sentinel along the remote alpine highway that threads north from Afghanistan into the rock-ribbed underbelly of Central Asia.
November 13, 1990 |
The Chinese are already calling it "the New Eurasian Continental Bridge" or "the Iron-Silk Road." The grandiose titles apply to a new railway link that will enable travelers and trade to follow the footsteps of Marco Polo with greater ease than ever before. Trains linking China's eastern seaboard with Western Europe are due to start rolling on the 6,750-mile route in July, 1992.
July 2, 1991 |
Bao Xueli has two dreams. One is to make a pilgrimage to Mecca before he dies. The other is that his village will build him a real mosque. Bao, 81, is the imam, or Muslim religious leader, of a recently established village on newly irrigated land in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of north-central China. His two dreams tell something of a people's faith--a faith that is struggling to survive and, perhaps, reassert its primacy.
June 12, 2002 |
New excavations at the Egyptian Red Sea port of Berenike show that an extensive sea trade existed between India and the Middle East from the 3rd century BC to the 7th century AD, supplementing the much more widely known Silk Road.