Sunday, June 10, 2012

Click the pix for larger picture.
There are countries where people have more fun than they do in China.  The people here have endured a lot.  In the last few centuries they have had foreign occupations, foreign induced mass addictions, dysfunctional government dominated by warlords and civil wars, followed a period of mass insanity and suffering involving a grand titled famine and a personality cult of anarchy.  Fun is a new concept.
When we started planning for our Children's Day activities, I thought of a water themed play day.  It's hot and muggy these days.  We have a nice play area and I thought WATER.  My British partner here and I started coming up with lots of fun ideas-water balloons, wading pools, squirt guns, hoses, and other kinds of general mayhem.
Our Chinese colleagues, and the administrators were not getting it. Objections were raised, lots of objections.  Nobody got it.  I finally told them that they had to trust us to create a fun event.  Didn't we do a great job on Christmas, and when we took the kids to the beach?  We really can do this, so shut up and let us do it!!
And they let us do it!
The main message sent to the staff and parents was this:  Be ready to get wet.  Kids will get wet.  Parents and grandparents will get wet.  Teachers and staff will get wet.
The first part of our morning was involved in the usual songs, dances, and other performances by the kids.  The foreigners got early dismissal from this to go set up the fun.  I filled a couple of hundred water balloons.  The wading pools were filled.  We changed into get wet clothing.  We were Westerners on a mission to create non structured, chaotic joy.
When the structured events were over, the mayhem began.  Many parents and most staff had ignored our warnings about impending soakings.  They got wet.  Their cute little tennis outfit uniforms got wet.  Makeup ran.  They started laughing and dumping buckets of water on each other.  Water balloons flew.  Women in heels and skirts got soaked.  Laughter and fun abounded.
Of course the kids had fun.  They always do.  The real accomplishment is getting the adults to realize that you can enjoy yourself, and that there are no repercussions.
For lots of pictures of both the water fun and the performances go here:
Tiny Footprints Website Photos Of Children's Day
By the way, why is there no Children's Day celebrated in the USA?

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