Hey Hey & a Big G'Day to you all,
Today is National Day!
Yeah, Happy 57th Birthday Mate!
Long live noodles and rice!
National Day this year was awesome. My school had its Happy 57th Birthday to China 'sing and dance' festival in the morning. All week the kids had been so excited. During class, after school and at home they had been practicing ever so hard. I gave some of my class time to help out and all were happy. The weather was awesome, two other people had short sleeves on but sadly no one else was wearing shorts and sandals.
The children were all dressed up, some in minority costumes and make up, others in the official school track suite and others dressed as characters such as mice and cats. I of course was dressed in my official school uniform as well, that of sandals, shorts and short sleeves. When I arrived I was shown the way to the official table and placed in the chair next to the head master. This was cool as he really is a great guy and young enough to still be Baiyin's number one badminton player! This lasted for about ten minutes as I was soon called accross by the students and found a chair right up the front.
Each class got to perform two songs and mate, they were all fantastic!
My favorite for the day was my Grade 2's singing Meow & Lowshoo (or Cat & Mouse).
The Birthday Party ended around one and soon I was making my way out the front gate with hundreds of students. I had tried to stay back and help clean up but of course I wasn't allowed to. I spent the next several hours on Eat Street slurping noodles with some of my students and their parents.
It was an awesome time and I had such a great National Day!
OK, for those who are sitting there saying, this guys a complete idiot, how can China be only 57 years old. Well, let's go back before 1949 shall we. The Long March had finished, the Japanese had invaded caused havoc destruction and by this time Mao Zedong was established as the leader of the Chinese Communist movement.
Yes people, the man who would become Chairman Mao one day said, 'HHHmmm, I wouldn't mind being Chairman for awhile!' So the big feller stood up on the 1st of October 1949 and said 'Hey Man, I've got an idea, let's become the People's Republic of China and I'll be Chairman!' So began the huge Communist Movement and the beginnings of the Peoples Republic of China, or the PRC to some.
When the big change occurred all the other big guys fled the country with all its wealth leaving Mao Zedong to become Chairman Mao. A massive change soon swept the country. They began land reform by giving back the land to the peasants (how sweet), women were recognized (MMMmmm mmmMMM, oops sorry, not that type of recognition!), inflation was grabbed by the butt and the big 'Five Year Plan' was introduced.
All seemed pretty good for most during those first five or so years. People were put into their Work Units, the country was divided into twenty one provinces, five Autonomous Regions and two municipalities being Beijing and Shanghai, there was food a plenty and everyone was in a big warm happy snuggle.
Once the Great Leap Forward kicked in, China was not heard of for a long time. Within its walls strange things were happening. Big people became little, famous people disappeared, special universities were opened, society changed, people were sent to agricultural communes, blast furnaces were created, people were too busy melting spoons and woks and no one was tending to the crops, famine hit, many people died and Mao said good bye to his job as the head of state.
Of course he was still Chairman of the Communist Party though!
Then came the writings of Chairman Mao, bounded together in the 'Little Red Book'. In kicked 'The Cultural Revolution'. Thoughts were thrown around and implemented, posters put up, families were split, romance really sucked, the Red Guards began their destruction, smart people disappeared, special things and places such as art and temples were torched and destroyed. Basically anything 'old' was not allowed eg: old customs, thinking and culture.
And due to clothing codes, in came the famous Chairman Mao suit!
After the big guy died in 76 Deng Xiaoping returned and soon thoughts of modernisation were thrown around. They were tossed here and there and finally the 'Four Modernisations' program was release. The new big guy had thought of things like agriculture, industry, science and defense and said 'Hey Man, we are nearing five thousand years old as a people but where are we globally?' The one child policy was enforced to slow down the population growth, farmers were given permission to sell surpluses on the market, political reform grew, religions were tolerated and Hong Kong was given back to China.
Soon Shane entered China, left China, went home for a spell and thought to himself, 'Hey Man, I think it's time to get me one of those Chairman Mao suites, I'm heading back to China for awhile.
In his wake schools have closed to make way for new brewery's!
Tee Hee Hey!
So there you have it, that's my little history lesson and explaination of what is and what is behind National Day. For most students and teachers and other members of society is a week's holiday. I'm still unsure what I will be doing but at this point of time I really couldn't be bothered donning the pack and going on an adventure. Strange thoughts for me but if you've been following my life here you should recall that I actually had the same thoughts this time last year. Thats the reason I purchased my bike in the first place.
Of course I ended up in Lingyun so maybe this year I'll end up in Lanzhou. But it's been too long since I've exercised and ridden a bike. There have been too many beers and smokes and now it's time for me to get back in the saddle on a daily basis and rid some of the roundness!
Tee hee, it's not that bad. I've just been feeling very lazy and tired and my body tells me each day I NEED EXERCISE!
So I guess that's the plan for the next week.
HAPPY NATIONAL DAY TO EVERY ONE IN CHINA AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ANYONE ELSE WHO SHARES THE SAME DATE
Beers N Noodles to you all...shane