Life in China 2017: A Picture a Day, February 28 - This type of three-wheeled carts are very common around us, but usually they are used for work purposes. They carry all sorts of items: recycling, furniture, street food, plants, and .... sometimes people. You don't usually see little kids sitting in the back alone though, but these two were very well-behaved as we drove past them!
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, November 6 – For many people in China, owning a car is a luxury they can’t afford. Many people, including families, use regular or electric bikes for transportation. It’s fairly common to see families riding together, usually Dad, Mom and 1 or 2 children. In this picture, it looks like the grandmother on the back. The way the little boys are standing in front of the Mom is typical. If they are really small, I’ve seen them turned around and holding on to their mother’s legs instead of the handlebars. www.myownchinesebrocade.com
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, September 12 – One of the traditions of the Mid-Autumn, or Chinese Moon Festival is for children to parade around carrying lanterns, under the full moon, on the festival night. Traditionally, these were handmade, often to look like animals or flowers, but today many can also be purchased ready-made. In addition to children carrying them, they can be hung in trees or around houses, some kinds are floated on water, and some are let loose to float skyward. The stores near us have many options for sale, from kits to make or decorate your own, basic paper accordion style lanterns, ones with modern day characters, and modern, plastic ones with flashing lights! Here are various lanterns we’ve seen for sale near us, as well as a couple pretty ones (with flowers and birds) that I bought for decorations :-)
China 2016: A Picture A Day, July 24 – Children’s talent shows are popular in China. I haven’t figured out if there is a specific pattern to them, but I’ve seen quite a few! Chinese kids who live in large enough cities for classes to be available, usually have some sort of extracurricular hobby or talent: singing, dancing, playing music (often piano or violin), art, etc. They start young, because there is such competition to get into even preschool, that if you don’t have some “talent” you will not make it into the “best” preschools! Today, we rode our scooters around the lake and saw a group of kids performing near the beach area. We went to the shopping plaza for dinner before going home, and there was a stage set up with seating for a more organized looking talent show. In the top picture, there is a little boy on stage in a white shirt playing piano. The little girl on the lower left was singing, and the lower right is part of the group that was dancing.
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, June 1 – International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1st in China, as well 46 other countries worldwide. When we first went to China I was surprised to learn about it since I had never heard of Children’s Day in the USA, although Wikipedia says it is celebrated in the USA the second Sunday in June each year. There are also many countries that celebrate Universal Children’s Day on November 20. Our first Children’s Day in China was just a few weeks after we had first arrived in China and Leah was invited to attend the activities at a local elementary school. The children first did their morning exercises and a program, then the rest of the morning had a carnival type set up with games to play and activities to participate in. At the end, each child received a treat bag. These pictures are from 2009.
I think the most popular cartoon character with young Chinese children is Xǐ yángyáng yǔ huī tài láng 喜羊羊与灰太郎 or Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf. Since 2005, there have been over 1000 TV episodes and 7 movies made. The story line reminds me of the Roadrunner and Wiley E. Coyote… the wolf is always trying to catch the sheep. Here’s a short intro with English you can watch if you’re interested: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjQwMjg5NTY4.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2 You see these goats everywhere in China! Of course DVDs, but also books, clothes, toys, riding toys, snack packages, etc. We have also seen people dressed as Pleasant or Happy Goat…. which a certain daughter of mine nicknamed “Creepy Sheep” when she saw them dressed up!
We walked along the lake to the plaza area for lunch today. There were a lot of people out because the peach trees, magnolias and other blossoms are blooming beautifully right now. People everywhere were taking pictures either of, or with, the blossoming trees. When so many people are out, there are also an abundance of vendors out. Just like back home, I think a favorite of the children are the balloons. The two kinds we saw today were very ornate twisted creations like backpacks and hats, and also simple colored balloons on sticks. I had never seen a vendor dressed as a clown before, clowns don’t seem as popular here as in the USA, so I had to take his picture! A balloon is called a qiqiu 气球, which literally translates as an “air ball. “
Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 9 - If you’ve read what I’ve previously shared about gold and fish… I’m sure you'll understand why goldfish are considered to be “lucky fish!” What better activity for kids (and adults!) at a New Year’s celebration than fishing for goldfish! There is a food fair, with some carnival type games, at our nearby shopping plaza and this “fish pond” is set up there. I’ve seen fishing like this at quite a few other places throughout the year, but in much smaller pools!
Life in China: A Picture a Day, 2016, January 7 - Today we went to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. My favorite part was the temporary exhibit of Chinese Children’s Clothing. Because of the high mortality rate in the past, babies and young children wore highly decorated clothing, filled with items in nature that had/have symbolism for health and longevity and to ward off sickness and evil spirits. The clothing was all so beautifully made, but I’d like to share this one: I will quote part of the information that was accompanying the display: “Baijiayi, hundred households garment, is a baby garment sewn by putting together scraps of cloth contributed by many households. In the past, after a child was born, the baby’s family would announce the good news to their relatives and neighbors, and scraps of cloth would be collected from close relatives and good friends to be sewn into a ‘hundred households garment,’ so that the blessings from many households would be assembled to ensure the healthy growth of the child.”