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The meaning behind rainbows
From China with love
Jorjas Mug Shot
Jingyue 'Jorja' Wu is an exchange student who attends First Presbyterian Christian Academy in Hinesville. - photo by File photo

I believe people who live here are blessed because of rainbows. I am always thrilled each time I see a rainbow.

Rainbows are rare in Shanghai, where I grew up. Before coming to Hinesville to live, I saw rainbows only twice in my lifetime; one was a double rainbow when I was in fifth grade, and the other was after a storm when I was 12 while visiting my grandmother.

As a child, I always looked forward to storms, so I might see a rainbow, yet I was disappointed most of the time.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived here, I was practically welcomed by a rainbow! They are often in the sky, brightly shining for everyone to see. The first week I was here, we were driving after school when a rainbow suddenly appeared. I screamed out, "Rainbow. Rainbow!" causing my host-mom to nearly drive off the road.

Coming out of church after service one day, my host-mom and I saw a rainbow.

Like always, I yelled with glee, "Rainbow. Rainbow!"

"Don’t you see rainbows often in Shanghai?" she asked.

"No, they are rare," I said. "As a coastal city, Shanghai suffers typhoons nearly every summer, so it rains a lot. However, we never see rainbows like here because of the heavy pollution."

Just like any other huge city, Shanghai has a serious pollution problem. Winter is especially miserable. We always joke that we can’t even see each other’s faces if the day’s haze index is high.

Clear blue skies and flawless white clouds are luxuries for us.

The word "rainbow" in Chinese is a combination of the word "worm" and "artificial," which loosely translated into dragon.

In ancient times, people thought rainbows, which look like dragons, would absorb all the water, leaving their crops to die. People would hit bowls, woks and other cookware to make noises to scare rainbows/dragons away.

"Does a rainbow have any special meaning here?" I asked my host-mom.

"Yes, it does," she answered. "Christians believe that rainbow signifies God’s promise made in the book of Genesis. God shows us this promise in rainbows. He also wants to remind us that he is always with us."

The rainbow that I saw that day? It was above the steeple of our church shining gloriously against the blue sky.

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