Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

3 nights of celebration...

Last night I thought back 6 years when this all began and I came to one basic conclusion...I am one of the luckiest people I know.

Growing up in the mountains of New Hampshire in a town of 800 people I never would have guessed that I'd end up spending so much time with such wonderful people around the world.

The past three nights I was happily the honored guest of the factory, sharing in their special Chinese New Year is my photo journey...

Coach buses were brought in to transport the factory staff...

Each of the three nights 1/3 of the staff would bring their familes (children, spouses, parents) and enjoy a banquet of massive proportions followed by a show and dancing at a night club.

All of this is the gift from the generous factory owner and his wife to his staff. approximately 300 people each night sat in the seats and dined on tasty foods and enjoyed much drink. (Yes, that's a chicken head.)

Each night I walked from table to table to toast everyone and thank them for thier hard work on our product...without them we wouldn't be were we are today. This means 30 toasts...OY! :-) The night I went toasting round the room with the group, I did fall behind quite a number of times to admire the amazingly beautiful hand knit sweaters and vests that so many of the men were wearing at this, the biggest celebration of the year. I couldn't single out just a few of the workers to photograph though... so you'll have to trust me on this one!

Being that this is the biggest celebration of the year, there are awards to be had! It's here that a gold charm is presented to each worker upon completion of their 5th year of service. This year, the front has a Dog (for the Year of the Dog) and the back was inscribed with thanks from Paul and Vivian (owners of the factory.)
I felt very honored to be able to share this with my friends as they received their awards.

After Awards came the RAFFLE! I was lucky each night to be asked to choose either the 2nd prize or first prize winner's number... very fun!!! First prize was equal to approximately 2 months pay. It was like giving away the lottery! One of the women who won had borrowed money from a friend to make the journey she was able to pay her friend back the next day and still have money left over to bring to her family!

The third night was for the office staffs from both Hong Kong and China. On this night my number was drawn and I won 100RMB (equals approx $12USD)... winning,I was told was very auspicious and it showed that I would have a great year of the Dog! BRING IT ON!

After the banquet each night, a night club had been rented for the night. Each night there would be a performace followed by dancing for all. The first night's performance was extremely traditional...and sadly lost much of the crown to sleep.
It opened with a Las Vegas-like feathered head dress opening...but Chinese style...Sorry for the photo quality...they didn't like us to take photos for fear we would steal their show ideas. (Um...not a problem.)

This is a photo of the last portion of the performance (already had been nearly 1 hour long)... the 1 hour long play is a Chinese Fable. In the lower corner is a Pig and the Monkey King.

After seeing the first nights performance, the factory owner asked the theatrical troup if they could give a shorter, more modern performance... Oh, they did.

They shook it up and made it... "modern and sexy" for nights two and three...I'd simply call it Burlesque.

After 30 minutes of performances, there was a break for dancing for all, followed by another 30 minutes of performance. We all had fun!!!

What a celebration! Thank you all for having me!


Anonymous Dani said...

such fun to live vicariously thru you =) Thanks for the tour =)

10:28 AM

Blogger Nessie Noodle said...

Wow~! your post is so fun to read. This is such an amazing experience. Lucky lucky girl.
I bet you are glad you are home though... :)

10:59 AM

Anonymous laurel said...

Wow - Thanks so much for showing us a side of China that most of us will never get to see. You really are a lucky girl!

6:50 PM


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