Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wonders of the World: The Old, The New, and The Vote

I wonder how many of the Seven Wonders of the World (the ancient one that is) we can recall. For me, only two: The Pyramids of Egypt and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Lest you launch yourself into a futile memory scouring operation, here are the remaining five, courtesy of the news story entitled “List down to 21 Candidates to be New World Wonders” in today’s issue of Tampa Tribune (pg. 4 of the Travel section):

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Pharoh lighthouse off Alexandria.

Only the Pyramids survive today. Now there is a global effort to name the Seven Wonders of the present-day at the New 7 Wonders website. However, if you wish to nominate your dream wonders for consideration, you are out of luck, or rather too late, for the list has been pared down to the final 21 as displayed on the site.

On the other hand, you still have a say as to what the final Magnificent Seven would be, by popular vote. And everyone has a right to exercise his/her voting right in this only trans-boundary democratic election. The result will be announced on, when else, the only triple sevens of this millennium: 7.7.2007.

So browse through the individual description of each of the 21 candidates already prepared for you, complete with a brief history, its significance, and a two-word symbolism, and take your pick. Better still, visit the sites to gain a first-hand account if you have the wherewithal in order to make an informed decision.

Here I’ve taken the liberty to list, in alphabetical order (as is done at the site), the 21 candidate sites, just to whet your appetite:

  • The Acropolis of Athens (450 - 330 B.C.), Athens, Greece (Civilization and Democracy)

  • Alhambra (12th century) Granada, Spain (Dignity and Dialog)

  • Angkor (12th century) Cambodia (Beauty and Sanctity)

  • The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá (before 800 A.D.) Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (Worship and Knowledge)

  • Christ Redeemer (1931) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Welcoming and Openness)

  • The Roman Colosseum (70 - 82 A.D.) Rome, Italy (Joy and Suffering)

  • Statues of Easter Island (10th - 16th Century) Easter Island, Chile (Mystery and Awe)

  • The Eiffel Tower (1887 - 89) Paris, France (Challenge and Progress)

  • The Great Wall of China (220 B.C and 1368 - 1644 A.D.) China (Perseverance and Persistence)

  • The Hagia Sophia (532 - 537 A.D.) Istanbul, Turkey (Faith and Respect)

  • The Kiyomizu Temple (749 - 1855) Kyoto, Japan (Clarity and Serenity)

  • he Kremlin and Red Square (1156 - 1850) Moscow, Russia (Fortitude and Symbolism)

  • Machu Picchu (1460-1470), Peru (Community and Dedication)

  • Neuschwanstein Castle (1869 -1884) Schwangau, Germany (Fantasy and Imagination)

  • Petra (9 B.C. - 40 A.D.), Jordan (Engineering and Protection)

  • The Pyramids of Giza (2600 - 2500 B.C), Egypt (Immortality and Eternity)

  • The Statue of Liberty (1886) New York City, U.S.A. (Generosity and Hope)

  • Stonehenge (3000 B.C. - 1600 B.C.) Amesbury, United Kingdom (Intrigue and Endurance)

  • Sydney Opera House (1954 - 73) Sydney, Australia (Abstraction and Creativity)

  • The Taj Mahal (1630 A.D.) Agra, India (Love and Passion)

  • Timbuktu (12th century) Mali (Intellect and Mysticism)

At a glance, you will note that each of the five inhabited continents is represented, from the oldest (3000 B.C. – 1600 B.C.) to the youngest (1954 – 73). Some have religious connotations, one of which is a Buddhist Temple (the Kiyomizu Temple, or the Clear Water Temple).

At the risk of being seen as biased, I think the Kiyomizu Temple will be one of my choices. And its two-word symbolism is most appropriate indeed, both clarity and serenity being the necessary ingredients for enlightenment on the path to Buddhahood.

The remaining six will be picked on the basis of at least one from each continent as in my book, no continent/country has monopoly over earthly wonders. But that's me. The important thing is to exercise your voting right as every vote counts. So, let your finger do the walking but your head to do the voting.

And that is my pleasantly surprising find of the day.


CY said...

Hm! This was a most pleasant surprise to me as well. Imagine having a say in the next 7 wonders of the world! Anyway, I realized I didn't much about the current 7 WotW, so I went to Wikipedia and found out that the original list originated in 2nd century B.C.! That makes it even more meaningful/worthwile to continue this traditional, so many centuries later.

I am now off to research the 21 candidates and then vote. :D

Say Lee said...

You missed a word in your first sentence. Mom caught it with her keen eyes.

If you like, you could share some of the findings of your research.

CY said...

Er... What word? My first sentence was "Hm!"

Say Lee said...

OK, if Hm! is counted as the first sentence, then it's the 4th: ... I didn't (know?) much ...