Friday, September 25, 2009

National Day Parade?

My friend, with whom I shared a flat in Scotland, gave me a call on Monday and invited me to dinner on Tuesday evening. He also invited two lovely British girls who are currently traveling in Beijing. He made good friends with the parents of one of the ladies when he was studying in Britain. So, the girl called him to meet up and here came the welcome dinner.

We watched the traditional ‘face changing’ shows in the Sichuan restaurant named 'Ba Guo Bu Yi' near the famous 'Nan Luo Guo Xiang (南锣鼓巷)', had a nice dinner and chatted happily on various topics. During the dinner, the two ladies asked us if they could go and watch the National Day parade at Tiananmen Square and if there would be any fireworks. Neither my friend nor I could say definitely if they could be allowed access to Tiananmen Square to watch the parade. I said hesitantly, ‘Yeah, maybe … we don’t know about that. There could be some fireworks on that day.’ My friend said, ‘We really don’t know. Actually people here don’t care much about the National Day celebration … They are busy preparing to travel outside Beijing during the national day holiday’. Then, I realized how much the people living in Beijing cared about the 60th Anniversary celebration. Very little! This is in sharp contrast with the media coverage of the event.

Perhaps, people in Beijing are just not in the mood to celebrate? It's more about holiday than National Day, I guess?


Ramesh said...

I've been struck too about how little importance my Chinese colleagues here in Guangzhou attach to the National Day. The Mid Autumn festival, yes. The holidays , yes. But the National day - very little. Surprising, eh !

Hang said...

That's so true. It's simply holiday for most people.