Exploring As A Eunuch

Published Date
26 - Mar - 2009
| Last Updated
26 - Mar - 2009
 
Exploring As A Eunuch

Forbidden Fruit

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Forbidden City, it was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Located in the Dongcheng District, in the heart of Beijing, it now houses the Palace Museum. For nearly 500 years, it was home to the Emperor, his household, and was also the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government.

 

However, after being home to 24 emperors, which includes 14 from the Ming Dynasty, and ten from the Qing Dynasty, the Forbidden City’s reign as the political centre of China ended in 1912. This happened with the abduction of Puyi, the last Emperor of China.

 

Puyi, a lavish man, was held hostage, and eventually sold precious items to sustain his lifestyle. The rest were stolen by the eunuchs of the palace.

You haven’t missed on any of the excitement—IBM has now financed a cultural project to let you visit the Forbidden City, and get a feel of it too. Moreover, it lets you dress up as a eunuch yourself. You can watch emperors from the Qing dynasty dine, train crickets to fight, and then feed them with blood-fattened mosquitoes. Besides, you can also practice archery with a courtesan.

 

At the virtual palace, launched recently, you can also dress up as part of the imperial entourage.

 

IBM Program Manager, John Tolva says you can choose among nine historical costumes after entering the virtual City. He adds that you can’t run or fly so that other virtual visitors are not distracted.

 

Named Beyond Space and Time, this project also has the finer details such as the eunuchs that shaped the course of the palace, and went on to hold great power. Paula W. Baker, Vice President, IBM says one of the costume you can choose is that of a eunuch.

 

For those of you who want to get into the finer details, you can also have a closer look at the women who were chosen to serve the emperor.

Built over a period of three years and a whopping $3 million, by IBM, www.beyondspaceandtime.com is worth trying. We wish someday we are able to dress up as an Emperor and walk around the Taj!

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