Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dance away the heartache

Another shot I took during our recent visit to Shanghai. Both in Holland and in Shanghai, we have a large park in walking distance of our home. But there the similarity stops. In Holland, it is just a place to walk the dogs; the French Park in Shanghai, although not large, is free entertainment. Without ever getting overcrowded, there are always hundreds of locals about, involved in all kinds of activities. Chatting, playing cards or chess or go, flying kites, exercising, whirling coloured bands, getting free medical consults, singing, you name it, they do it. The highlight though is an elegant and touching custom that can be observed in the morning and late afternoon. Dozens of Shanghainese couples, typically in the 40-60 years range, dance on the streets of the park to the sound of romantic music coming from a portable CD player. As so often in China there is a grim reality behind this. Many of them have been fired from their jobs, being uneducated thanks to the disastrous Cultural Revolution policy, and now being replaced by young bright university graduates. Still, they try to enjoy life the best way they can, getting a bit of exercise at the same time. It is a dramatic sight, and many times we felt like we had been dropped into a movie when we watched or took part.

Camera: Canon Powershot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/2.4
Focal Length: 7.2 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0