The Holy Fire

The big news in town this week was the lighting of the Olympic torch that will be carried in relay for 130 days through 19 different countries.  The flame will eventually come back to China (obviously) and be used to light the Olympic flame that will burn for the duration of the Games in August.  The flame was lit at a special ceremony in Olympia, Greece and transported to Beijing on Monday of this week aboard a special airplane.  With all the pomp, circumstance, ceremony, and ritual that a 5000-year old culture can muster (and it’s a lot, believe me), the torch was lit in Tiananmen Square.  In Chinese the Olympic flame is called sheng huo (圣火), which literally means ‘holy fire’ or ‘holy flame,’ because if its connection to ancient Greek mythology.

The Games begin 127 days from now.  Interestingly, I have found that this seemingly incontrovertible fact can become a major cultural clash point.  Most westerners (especially those with any type of involvement with the Games) are saying "There are only 127 more days until the Games."  Whereas locals seem to be saying "There are still 127 more days until the Games." 

Which is it?  Only 127 more days to find out!