Since I started writing articles more regularly on websites other than my own (yeah, I haven’t been writing here as often as I would like), I have started to look through my photo library to find pictures that I can use in my articles. While doing so, the other day I came across some photos that I took from a Kindergarten sports day in Changsha back in 2010.

I was invited to go there with the head of the teaching office I was attached to at my school, I taught her daughter every friday afternoon and she wanted to take me out and asked me if I could take some pictures of her little girl. I agreed, thinking that it would be nice to get outside and do something outside of work. So I went, and it was great. But I still, do this day remember something that surprised me and really made me wonder about certain things.

Before the sports day started, there was a kind of opening ceremony. Now, in China, this is fairly common. There is always some sort of flag raising ceremony, a national anthem or something like that along with a lengthy speech from the school administrator or something else. Always the same, always boring. But this flag raising ceremony really bothered me. These a kindergarten kids, they are about 4-5 years old and they were all dressed up in cute uniforms and everything, but not only that, most of them also had plastic guns in their hands. I mean, sure, we play with guns and stuff, but for an opening ceremony for a kindergarten sports day, kids, uniforms, and guns? Seriously?

I didn’t quite know what to think of it all, and frankly I was too nervous to ask any questions and to this day, I am still not sure why they were all carrying guns, plastic ones, but still. It just felt so misplaced and from an educational perspective just plain wrong. They are kindergarten kids, they should be holding a flag, a flower or maybe their favorite blanket. Not trying to kill you if you don’t stand in a straight line. Anyway, it made for some interesting pictures hehe.