Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Early morning in West Lake Park, Hangzhou

Early every morning men gathered here to visit. Some carried cloth-covered bird cages. Suitable branches were quickly found to hang cages in trees near by. Once the coverings were rolled to the tops of the cages, the owners walked up this little path to join their friends. The air filled with the soft murmur of their conversations, mixed with frequent sounds of laughter and the singing birds. A delightful way to start the day.

Between the sketch above and the June 4th post, there was a large, square platform surrounded by short walls. Openings on each side allowed entry. People began to arrive around 6:45 a.m. They were all dressed for work in the business world.

By 7:00 a.m. loud speakers came on, blaring music from the West, and the people began to dance together, ballroom style. They danced for nearly an hour. Then suddenly the loud music ended. Once again the soft murmur of voices mixed with laughter could be heard, and the dancers stepped out onto the grass-covered ground. They left as they had come, some walking and some riding bicycles.

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