14 Nov Unabashed Chinese

As fellow travelers start to share photos of our recent China journey, it’s like seeing the trip through different eyes. Situations which I didn’t particularly think to photograph, someone else did. What struck me as worthy of lots of memorable snapshots, someone else skipped over. A couple of times I was sorry I didn’t get some record of what was happening, but luckily others did. One thing we all documented with vigor were the people in the parks.

The public parks for the Chinese are venues for people to perform—-to sing, to dance, to do tai chi. These aren’t professional performers, but people who like to get together, who like to have a good time, who will dress up in costumes, who laugh and enjoy themselves. They particularly get a huge kick out of pulling in any gawking tourists to dance with them. We learned we had to keep moving along—-if we stopped to watch we were sure to be targets for their enthusiasm, pulled into some kind of a folk dance, that required twirling and jumping.

How come we don’t dance our the parks? How come I don’t pick up a portable microphone, stand by a tree, and belt out some song everyone knows—even if I don’t sing all that well? How is it I wouldn’t be caught dead waving scarves around to music coming from a boom box? When did we get so hung up? My theory is that performance is an integral part of Chinese culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re particularly good or not—the group joins in to help you out, everyone claps no matter what, and above all, everyone feels good at the end. Inspired even. My ch’i was lifted just watching them.

All this gives me some new and inventive ideas for lifting the ch’i in a space—– a new Feng Shui approach. With kareoke machine in hand and dancing shoes on feet, what better way to clear out those dark energies, those lurking spirits, those dead clutter areas? What dank, moldy basement couldn’t benefit from a short musical number—-maybe a costume to enhance the experience? Maybe a waving scarf? Maybe not.