Creative flash mobs keep China's National Day celebrations in high gear
Participated in by hundreds of thousands of people, patriotic flash mobs of chorused songs and poetry have been popping on China's social media, keeping emotions running high in the wake of the country's National Day celebrations.
From landmarks and transport hubs across the country to foreign tourist destinations and even the high seas, Chinese people have staged a variety of flash mobs to share the birthday celebrations of the motherland.
On October 1, when the grand military parade and the mass pageantry of the national celebration were held in Beijing to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese research vessel Yuanwang 3 was sailing on the Pacific Ocean.
The crew members mobilized on the flight deck of the vessel to produce a flash mob singing the patriotic Chinese song "Me and My Motherland" to join in the celebration of the nation's birthday.
All of the crew gathered under the red national flag in a "70" formation to present the flash mob.
The oceangoing survey ship independently designed and built in China is the only one of the country's four surveying ships in service that has visited all of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.
In some large flash mob productions, mobilization can take the efforts of a whole city.
In the Shanghai version of the flash mob of "Me and My Motherland," the overture started at night with the unveiling of LED lighting on the exteriors of 70 high-rise buildings in the downtown area, while in the sky, 100 lit drones formed a formation of "China" and "70."
The ensuing piano piece played by famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang was joined by a large singing troupe consisting of representatives of all walks of life in the bustling Bund area, which drew a crowd of more than 70,000 viewers at the site, echoing the mass chorus.
In the backdrop, a 3D light show on Shanghai's iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower congratulated the motherland on its birthday.
"As a person of the same age as New China, I have witnessed the motherland's development toward prosperity, and shared pride in its achievements," said Yu Lizhong, chancellor of New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai), who participated in the activity.
At the Hekoubei Railway Station on China's southwest border with Vietnam, a chorus of the song was led by a young freight intern Chen Yingyi in the terminal building.
"I was so happy that many children in the crowd began to sing with me, and then more and more people joined in, so I repeated the lyrics again to prolong the song," said Chen.
She said starting on October 1, the railway linking the border station with the provincial capital of Yunnan has been served by high-speed trains, which has been a source of much pride for residents living in the border region.
Preluding the National Day celebrations, diversified takes of patriotic flash mobs, especially the singing of the song "Me and My Motherland," appeared online, often involving mass participation by the public.
In September, a Chinese studying in Australia led several choruses of the song at the iconic sites of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Her troupe, dressed in traditional Chinese costumes and playing Chinese musical instruments, drew large crowds of onlookers.
"Chinese visitors on-site echoed our singing and locals marveled at the effect of the performance," said Zhuo Tongzhou, 26.
Zhuo said they performed the song 10 times in order to record the video of the flash mob as a tribute to the motherland's birthday.
"Every time, the onlookers sang with us, taking photos. We performed with tears in our eyes," she said.
During the weeklong holiday, 20 flash mobs singing patriotic songs were staged in Beijing's public parks, which were joined by visitors enjoying cultural events and flower exhibitions in the parks.