I'm a Cult of Personality
Leo is a very confident 6 year old and is used to speaking in front of a thousand kids.
Tiger Mothers' Kids
Click the pix for larger picture.
On January 2 the schools I work for had what they refer to as a "group activity" for the children from all of our three schools. About 1,000 kids showed up at one of the big parks for this grand affair. They were divided by school and classroom and were all cute and atwitter in their uniforms. There were a few speeches and such from teachers, headmasters, foreign teachers and very bright students. All the while the kids stood in a formation that, while lacking in military precision and discipline, was still impressive for 3 to 6 year olds.
My teaching partner and I got them to holler "Good morning!", and "I"m fine, thank you!", and I got an inkling of what Hu Jintao must feel like when he comes out for some quality public time.
The kids had been rehearsing some dance moves and songs prior to the event, and they were led by teachers from up on the stage. The whole crowd moved, sang and danced somewhat in unison. The Chinese can really get a crowd performing in a pretty good way, even rugrats. It's a pleasant change from the chaotic crowds and traffic one experiences in a day to day basis.
Then the kids were treated to a Professional Fun Guy and his staff of fun folks. They did dances, songs, and games, or rather the younger staff did the movements, while PFG, who was a little rotund, was middle aged and had smoker's voice, did the commands.
Then their parents were called out to join the kids and the real fun began. They all got these big colored, inflatable vinyl weenies that they used in all manner of directed games. Everyone was laughing and having way more fun than would have been allowed 30 years ago. The entire Professional Fun show lasted about 90 minutes and was a remarkable experience for all, and great publicity for the schools. Things here are done on a massive scale, and that can include fun.