Yesterday was Children’s day in China. Schools organized various activities to celebrate and kids had one day’s break.
In my memory, Children’s day was very important but not cheerful. When I was in kindergarten and elementary school, the celebration seemed similar from year to year: every class or every school prepared a group dance and performed on stage in downtown. Fortunately, I was always in the dance team.
Besides, the dance was also a competition between schools, thus was very important to teachers. We needed to practice very hard, like in the army, every morning, every noon, even after class. We should stump correctly on the rhythm. If somebody did wrong by waving the wrong arm, he or she certainly got criticized by teachers and classmates, sometimes very fiercely. But still we all loved the performance, in spite of the tiring practice. Being on stage was our unanimous dream, our dignity and success. We wished desperately the upcoming of Children’s day.
Then, finally, we got up early and let teachers do the make-up: Red bow, Red face and Red lips. The Children’s day meant the exciting 5 minutes on stage, after what we got relaxed. How proud we were! There were several teachers’ shows, which made teachers also very busy and anxious. But I didn’t remember anything, as I didn’t remember my successful dance.
Worse experiences always got clearer memories. Two Children’s days marked my life. I was in my last year of kindergarten, which was located in a small village. The celebration was in 2 miles away and we walked one hour. The big cinema (it was in fact a cinema) was totally dark and I was lining up, excited to move onto the stage. Suddenly, one teacher came to me and asked me to get out of the line. She pulled another little girl out of the team and put us together. “You stayed here, no need to dance,” she ordered without an explanation.
It was several days later that I understood the reason: the stage was too small and teachers thought that two many kids would make mistakes. All teachers were too busy to comfort me and the other girl at that moment.
But for me, it was an explosion of bomb. I stood behind the stage and saw nothing. When the dance finished, all dancers ran behind the stage and demonstrated their merit with a big smile on their face. They were giggling all the way back to school.
That day, my dad had gave me five yuan (less than one dollar) for the lunch, which was a big amount at that period, in 1980s.”You can buy some candies,” said my father. It was my first time to discover the small town, and I spent all the money buying candies and little toys. I even forgot my frustration. When I came home, I was asked if my dance was successful. But I just said yes. Then he asked me about the money. “You have spent all?” shouted him, turning blue. I hadn’t realized that he didn’t want to give me the five yuans bill but only planned to give me one yuan. He just had no coins at his hand when I asked.
I got beaten on the fess. It was the only one time family violence that I suffered in my childhood, while in the 1980s, violence was the most popular way to teach children in the countryside. My dad aimed to tell me not to waste money. I couldn’t remember if I provoked his anger by defensing myself. It happened on that day which was supposed to be the happiest day for a child. I cried a lot, noting for being beaten, but for my lost absence in the dance performance.
There was another summer and I also danced for the school on Children’s day. I was in 3 or 4 grades. Our dance had received a prize in another occasion and we practiced a lot to show it on Children’s day. I still remember that the subject was a fashionable: a dance of astronauts. We had spent all the weekends learning postures from the DVD, which registered the original dance performed in a big city. We even got a special costume and a helmet. That day, I was on stage, but I did an awful mistake. By accident, I hit the helmet of one classmate, which fell off her head. She had no time to pick it and put it back. All the audience noticed it. The dance continued and I was about to cry. She didn’t talked to me and the others neither. I wished to say sorry but I didn’t make it. Every one was busy since it was Children’s day.
And now I’m a mother of a child who has passed five children’s day. Each year, she got presents from me and other family members. She knew that it was a happy day for kids but couldn’t tell the difference from other festivals on which she got presents too. She likes dance and I wish she could fine her freedom and her confidence in her own dance.