Dear China, there are two things I think we mush discuss just to clear the air.
1. The definition of the word “Party”. I don’t think this word means what you think it means.
A party, either formal or informal, is usually a gathering of people enjoying each other’s company in conversation, possibly games, maybe some slightly inebriated karaoke, and food.
What I attended last night was not a party, as you told me it would be, but a concert.
I nice holiday concert in which there was singing and dancing and prizes (though that is a little like a party), and funny jokes told in Chinese that I didn’t understand.
And though it was wonderfully delightful to see my fellow teachers dance and sing (inexplicably six groups of 20-30 teachers sang the same song, and each of them fell flat on the last note, twas interesting, and we assumed it was some sort of competition), and my students dance to Gangnam Style like pros, this is still not something we consider a party.
2. Banners. How do you get so many?
Banners are everywhere, signs are all over the place, and last night at this “party” there was a banner wishing us a Happy New Year that took up the entire back wall of the stage. Like fifteen feet high and bright red and festive and oh did I mention gigantic. Then each group performing had some sort of banner (one group had two), and it’s just rather perplexing to me. The banner industry here must be booming this time of year.
No but really, I went to a concert last night put on by the wonderful teachers from the middle school and high school, and they were nothing but kind and excited that we were coming.
We got a ride from a teacher, car pooling with five of us, and seeing as we were told this was party, my fellow American teacher and I did not eat because Chinese parties usually come with lots of food. When the Chinese teachers found this out through a blunder of mine, they insisted on buying us food. We declined about 48 times, and then when we got to the performance hall, thus realizing it was going to be a concert, we discovered that they had gotten food from the cafeteria for us and made us eat it. It was very kind, and I felt terrible. I hadn’t eaten dinner because I had a huge lunch and wasn’t hungry. So note to self, when ever asked if you have eaten, just say yes.
The evening itself was vibrant and hilarious and unexpected. I am sorry, I forgot my camera, but just imagine every middle school concert you’ve ever seen and then add in lots of scarves (for some reason everyone was wearing very distinctive scarves) and a random raffle in between acts. The emcee looked shockingly like my future brother in law, and I laughed every time he came on stage because it was freaking me out.
Overall, a it was a grand evening and at the end I was given chocolate just for coming. I feel like more events should take up this practice, because I definitely would have been more excited about high school football games had I been slipped a Ritter Sport just for attending (sorry brother).
Thank’s for reading,