One day of the year for our kids
About 1,000 families in Shanghai gathered at the China Welfare Institute Children’s Palace on Saturday to celebrate International Children’s Day.
The children’s palace was set up by Soong Ching Ling, honorary president of the People’s Republic of China, in 1953 and has become a landmark in the city for children to learn art, science and the humanities.
As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, many of the activities were designed to help children learn about the country’s history, culture and development in entertaining ways.
There were pavilions for children and parents to record short videos about their love and their best wishes for the country.
A lecture about the Empire of Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) was delivered by Xu Weihong, who had led the third archeological excavation of the No.1 Pit of the Terra-Cotta Army that protects the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, near Xi'an.
There were also several cultural activities for children, such as performance of huju, or Shanghai opera, Shanghai-style cross talks and dramas.
These included a classic Chinese drama about how a boy, Haiwa, delivered a letter bearing three feathers, which meant very urgent, to the Eighth Route Army during the war against Japanese aggression.
There were also games designed to help children learn about different places in China and acquire real life skills, such as checking train timetables in South China, planning travel to Macau and making dolls of ethnic groups.
By scanning a QR code with a smart phone, children could read about all areas of China online. There was also a knowledge competition in the section.
And there was an area for children to experience what it was like to live when their parents were young.
This included learning sewing and singing songs popular in the 1990s.
They could also make model planes of China’s self-developed jet C919 and wear a space suit to learn latest development in China.
A series of movies made for children were also shown at the palace for them to understand the development of the film industry in China.
They were also invited to paint masks of characters in famous cartoons and take photos in scenes from films.