Saturday, April 28, 2007

Red Flags and Celebration

As we walked through the park on the way home from school today, we heard a commotion in front of the main administration building. Martial music was playing over the loud speakers, and we saw students heading toward the music, carrying long sticks of bamboo. As we passed the last stand of trees in the park, we saw a crowd of students carrying red flags with Chinese writing in gold. The long bamboo we'd seen heading in that direction were flag poles for more flags.

We watched as some kind of ceremony unfolded. Some apparent dignitaries were introduced, and they signed their names to a long banner. Then the students signed their names to the banner. With a loud pop, two cylinders exploded a shower of confetti over the crowd, and two torch bearers began to run away from the group. The flag bearers and crowds of students followed, disappearing from view. They later reappeared from the opposite direction, having circled the campus.

I asked a student what the celebration was about, and expected the answer to have something to do with the national holiday coming up. But no, it seems it was part of the year-long celebration of Xiada's 85th anniversary. Each of the flags represented a college or school of the university.

The girls enjoyed the ceremony, marching to the martial music. But the highlight for them was the confetti -- they and the other kids in the crowd chased around to collect every bit. Then they threw it in the air again for their own personal confetti shower, and picked it all up to do it again!

1 comment:

mimifrancoise said...

The Chinese love pageantry don't they. Xiada seems to have a lot of celebration. How fun for you and the girls to be there on the 85th year. I hope there will be some sort of show while I am there. Did you take photos of the girls with confetti? I bet you found some confetti when they undressed that night. I remember Jacques had a party at home when he was a teenager (when we lived in Madagascar) and we found confetti for months after Maman said "no more confetti alowed in the house!"
Thanks for posting. As you know we love reading your blog.