Jul 31, 2008

A Night at the Square

Very near to our apartment complex is the "Cultural Activities Centre" for our village. It is rarely used, but the courtyard out in front is a favorite summertime gathering area. Last night we joined our neighbors in the courtyard... it is really beautiful how communal the Chinese people are with each other. Caroline commented that in America, most people spend their evenings in their own living room in front of their own TV, but here hundreds of people gather every night to sit in a courtyard and interact.

The men play cards and smoke; the women fan themselves and gossip; and the kids zip by on roller blades and skate boards... and then there is the dancing. Many people gather for dancing, and it is quite the affair. Someone brings the music, and everyone finds a partner. The women get dressed up for the occasion, wearing their finest dresses and beautiful high heels. The dances are very formalized with specific steps and patterns... it is fun to watch. Some of the foreign interns learned a few new moves with the locals last night, which was, I'm sure, a source of more chatter for the old ladies. :)

Oh, and then there were the drummers. Since the spring, we hear drums in the distance every night... last night we found the source! A group of men who have a drumming circle that goes non-stop till late in the night. They have incredibly good rhythm!

The days are hot and sleepy... but the evenings are alive and active.

1 comment:

Suzy said...

Just last year at this time, my husband and I were in Beijing. I'm feeling so sentimental about it, and I'm glad the Olympics are about to start so I can see China on television. I'm in Arkansas so when I'm not INSIDE, I can experience much of the same heat & humidity you and your neighbors are.


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