Perfection

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Surrounded by blooming trees, dozens of customers had the chance to get a closer look at our products and get advice for their applications.

Mr. Wei is one of these visitors. He works in the design department of the biggest manufacturer of agricultural machinery in China. Specializing in tractors, he is quite familiar with igus products. “We’re using them in a wide range of applications,” Mr. Wei told me. “For example, in the ladder, the window, door hinges, and the diesel engine.” Mr. Wei uses igus bearings wherever possible. He said matter of factly “They have a very high quality.”  Mr. Wei knows what he’s talking about! When he studied engineering in Germany, he was able to get his hands on many high-quality products.  During his studies, he also picked up German!

https://youtu.be/M5ucaN7hCvw

Something that comes to mind when I think about China are the traditions today that originated thousands of years ago. One of these still impressive relics of the past is the Shaolin monk, who serves Buddha and is famous worldwide for their practice of Kung Fu.

Perfection

Shaolin monks only have one monastery in the world, located in the Eastern part of China. Recent studies were able to trace its origins back as far as 477 BC.

There is no evidence of when the Buddhist monks began practicing Kung Fu. Some sources say that in the year 600 the monastery sent 13 of its monks to support the emperor in war. Since then, they have worked at perfecting the art of Kung Fu.

A graveyard at the monastery. The height of the tombstone reflects the rank of the Shaolin Monk

After the monastery was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s, it was rebuilt in the 90’s and opened for visitors. There was a big debate within the order of the monks regarding what policy they should pursue. In the end, the monks’ traditions were highly commercialized. For instance, there are Shaolin monks on world tour performing in shows in Las Vegas etc., a Chinese version of KFC at the temple, and Shaolin monks performing in free fight shows for visitors.

I was really surprised that a place with such a long history has become so commercialized; our Chinese colleagues had the same impression. Even the normal staff, like the people selling tickets, etc. were all dressed as monks.

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Nevertheless, the fighting skills of the monks are incredible. Twenty nearby schools are all teaching Shaolin Kung Fu.

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One of these schools was nice enough to open its gates to welcome the iglide car.

Both the Shaolin monks and igus are constantly seeking perfection, so it was a natural fit to meet one another. Take a look at what happened when cars and monks meet.

https://youtu.be/eGIQYZJy2dE

Another tradition that is surely not 1500 years old (though I haven’t done my research) is Chinese square dancing! In the early morning and evening, people gather in squares and practice dancing, either alone or with a Partner.

https://youtu.be/KVy8wdNih0I

While the elderly dance, you can typically find the younger generation of Chinese in KTV shops. KTV is basically the same thing as karaoke. Each group gets their own room with a TV, music system, and two microphones. That way you get to be embarrassed in front of your friends instead of the entire bar.

Ok, that’s all for today, I’ll keep you up to date as we continue our travels!

-Sascha