24 September 2010

A day in the park

The mid-Autumn Moon festival here is a three day holiday, so instead of teaching we enjoyed some of Baotou's parks. Musical groups gather to play among the trees. These aren't buskers and onlookers just seem to come and go. We also heard traditional opera, and saw tai chi and sword dancing as well as some serious card and checker games.
In the plaza some older men were doing calligraphy, writing ephemeral poems on the flagstones with water and big pointed brushes.
We also went to a large ecological park, over 10 square miles of grassland within walking distance of our apartment. An artificial hill has a ski slope on one side and this Buddhist shrine on the other.
Among the prayer flags we watched the golden full moon rise above the grassland.
We ended the day in this enormous yurt-like dining room, which also has a stage show of Mongolian culture with dozens of costumned singers and dancers. What a grand wind up to our day in the parks!