This morning I did something for the first time in China: I got up quite early and went for a walk with my camera in Martyr’s Park.
This is something I really should have done a long time ago! Let me explain.
The early morning culture of parks in China is something I’ve read about on other blogs and websites. I knew about how there are people doing Tai-chi, dancing, and several other activities usually in groups.
What I didn’t realize was how many Chinese people go to the park early in the morning–although I should say that it seemed to be mostly elderly people over 50.
I saw groups of people learning dance routines to English pop songs (Lady Gaga has a huge following in China which is an UNDERSTATEMENT to say the least).
I saw groups of women learning how to belly dance . . . and one sub-group doing some kind of squatting position-movement practice to music that was just a little too . . . ‘erotic,’ lol. Maybe Patrick Swayze has an underground following here . . . hehehe.
I saw a group of elderly men and women doing what I think is Tai-chi with swords . . . and tried to imagine older Canadians I know doing the same thing and struggled because seniors in Canada that I know don’t do much that I would consider physically demanding. Some of the positions and movements the Chinese elderly were doing with their swords in the early morning heat and humidity would likely be beyond the elderly I know.
I saw ballroom dancing groups in several locations too . . . and the list goes on.
At the end of my walk around the park I came across a group of women doing what I’m going to call ‘fan dancing.’ One of the woman in particular was very graceful and elegant–and the picture in this post of of her dancing.
Julianne and I will definitely be heading out to the park at least a couple more times early in the morning before we leave China–and if you visit China I definitely recommend it as one of the most enjoyable (and free!) cultural experiences you can have here.