Friday, 7 March 2014

From China: Sepia Saturday 218

I was struggling to find a picture and a link to this weeks theme.

The picture shows " the areas in Sydney affected by the outbreak of Bubonic Plague in 1900" and the suggestions for a topic are " fences, back yards or bubonic plague." Well, I have no interesting pictures of backyards, or of fences and I didn't think I had anything I could connect to bubonic plague either. However, having always been interested in things medical, I started to research around the topic of bubonic plague, or 'The Black Death' .
According to research "The first outbreak of plague occurred in China more than 2,600 years ago before reaching Europe via Central Asia's "Silk Road" trade route" and then went on to kill around one third of the population of Europe in the middle ages.  It's a zoonotic disease, meaning it's caught from animals, and in this case rats and fleas. Without treatment, the bubonic plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within four days.
So here is my link to the old pictures of China, maybe with or without Bubonic Plague:
European Gardens Shanghai
I can't find any reference to these gardens in modern times and my guess is they were removed as part of the cultural revolution in China.
Hankow Road, Shanghai

However Hankow road still exists but looks rather different now!

Picture Wikki commons
A Chinese houseboat

And this Chinese houseboat may well have attracted the odd plague infected rat!
I learned about the Black death at school but thought it had died out, but apparently a case was reported as recently as 2012 in China, and also in parts of Africa and South America. I remember this nursery rhyme I learned at school
Ring a ring o' roses
A pocketful of posies
A tishoo A tishoo
We all fall down
We thought it was sweet but it is supposedly about the Black Death.
For more on this theme go to Sepia Saturday


Wendy said...

YAY -- I KNEW someone would have a plague post! The old photos of China are fascinating. We always sang "Ring around the rosie, pocketful of posies, ashes ashes, we all fall down."

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

There have been many different "plagues", and there were repeats throughout history. I hope our CDC can be prepared in case new ones come along. Wendy and I sang the same words to that nursery rhyme.

La Nightingail said...

I, too, sang "ashes, ashes, we all fall down" & if the song does relate to the plague, then I suppose "ashes, ashes" would relate to the burning of the bodies of those who died. What an awful thought, & here we've always sung the song so cheerfully! I've wondered about those strange words, but they make sense now if that's what they truly mean?

Sharon said...

I remember the nursery rhyme the same way as you.

Certainly a big difference in then and now. There is no comparison. The past is so much better.

anyjazz said...

Fine post! You're right! So MANY children's rhymes are about serious or disturbing things: London Bridge, Peas porridge, Rock-a-bye baby, Three Blind Mice.

Postcardy said...

I remember playing Ring around a rosie. It was a lot of fun, and I never thought about what it might mean.

Karen S. said...

Wonderful, we finally get a good read on the other side of the fence. What excellent photos too!

Jo Featherston said...

I agree, great old photos you've uncovered here, but I'm glad you didn't post any of people suffering from the Black Death.

Brett Payne said...

Great photos thank you Linda.

Joan said...

I liked the old picture of Hankhow Road better than it's 7-11 version.

Also on a less happy note, we had a recent black plague case (July 2012) here in Oregon. The man lived but lost several fingers and toes as the tissue turns black and rots away.

Anonymous said...

These beautiful pictures and the general impressions from them brought back memories of the movie The Painted Veil based on Somerset Maugham's novel. A cholera plaque features in the story. One of mty favorite movies.Beautiful photographs, Thank you.

Jackie van Bergen said...

Well done for the plague references. I only managed polio memories

Mike Brubaker said...

This weekend's Sepia theme had a difficult twist with that reference to plague. It's not a subject that photographs well. I like your choice of garden/park photo as it has a bandstand, probably for one of the European military bands.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"Lovely's Blot" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.