Monday, April 6, 2009

Qing Ming on the water

It must be good to be a Chinese kid at Qing Ming time!

One of the important elements of the Qing Ming celebration, almost as important as to sweep your ancestors' graves, is to educate the young generations about the achievements of their ancestors, whether recent or in the distant past. For example, if your grandfather played a role in political events, you might tell his story; or if your family name is Sui, you might tell stories of the Sui Dynasty (581-618).These days, though, as far as I can tell the focus is as much on the kids as it is on their ancestors.

Here is the first thing I saw when I hit the waterfront. Parents could pay a few yuan to mount their kid up on a stuffed horse,
or maybe a tiger, and then by jumping up and down rhythmically the kid could ride around in a little circle. Looks like fun!

Or if you prefer, you can drive around in a little car that looks like a goofy monster:

Kite-flying seems to appeal to both the very old, and the very young. I'm not sure which category I fit into, but I find kites fascinating.

When I was a kid, I had a "Sit-'N-Spin," a little round vehicle with a wheel on either side so you could reverse directions or spin in circles. It was endless fun. These kids get the same thing on water!

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