Thursday, 20 January 2011

Chinese Influence in Syria

As we were walking through Souq Al-Hamidiyyah in Damascus, Audrey wanted to buy some tea. So we dropped by one of the shops there.

The shop sold some interesting stuff like this tea container/cup:

The idea is to put the tea into the container and pour hot water. Then use the special spoon cum straw to sip the tea.

Notice that the spoon has tiny holes on one end to prevent tea leaves from being sipped in too.

As I was looking at the rows and rows of containers on sale, I noticed something odd in the display ...

Can you guess what's odd here?

It's the Chinese motifs on some of the containers.

So I asked the shop owner why are containers with Chinese motifs sitting in Syria, a country in the Middle East where there's no pork and no gambling?

He explained that because Damascus is located along the ancient Silk Road, merchants from China brought along their wares to trade in each port-of-call that they visited.  

"Oh ..." I nodded my head as I listened to his explanation. And soon after that, I found myself staring at this car that was parked near Souq Al-Hamidiyyah:

Take a closer and see why I was intrigued by this car.

Can you guess what's odd with this car?

Chinese influence has indeed reached the shores of Syria, but they just need to get the words right side up!

Hahahaha ...


khengsiong said...

I suspect the chinas are made in China.

Julie Lim said...

Hi Kheng Siong,

I suspect so too. But I forgot to ask the shopkeeper whether the chinas are antiques or newly imported from China.

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