Starting down the Silk Road
Walking along the street in Vancouver’s Chinatown, I noticed yet again the Silk Road signage. About 100 years ago the 2 major railways here in Canada used to run special silk rains form the port to the eastern cities of Canada and the USA. Today’s internet can be said to be a modern version of that road. Except, instead of silk being the commodity, now its information that is passes from way station to station. The Silk Road here in North America is relatively new compared to the one that 6000 mile route that stretched from China into the southern parts of Europe. This along with the spice trade which was more marine based along the southern shores of Asia, provided a two way route for not only goods but ideas. Buddhism spread to the west and the east from the Indian sub-continent. Not only did the followers of Buddha build way stations and outposts, soon followed Monasteries, libraries, schools, hospitals. In return, the influence of Greek artisans influenced Buddhist art from paintings, bas reliefs and statues.