Photographer's Note

These children were running around and shouting outside my apartment for hours, and I just happened to notice the interesting shadows and light in a glance and thought I would have a go at capturing it. They were playing a game of some description, and clearly the two in the foreground won!

It pleases me to see Chinese children play as it's something their lives don't allow them a great deal to do. The Chinese education system is interesting, and whilst it undoubtedly achieves great academic results, the general consensus among westerners living in China (and many Chinese people) is that it de voids the children of many other life skills due to the huge pressure to achieve and the number of hours involved.

Life for children in Baoji (and the rest of China I think) of school age means starting at 8am and not finishing until 6pm, after which they have on average between 3 and 5 hours of homework to complete per day. When I ask my students what times they wake up and go to bed, many of them wake at 6am, and don't go to bed until 1am because they have so much homework to do. They also frequently have examinations on weekends, and when there is a national holiday during the week (for example the recent May Day Holiday), it's not really a holiday at all as they have to make up any missed classes on the weekend and spend all of the holiday doing homework anyway! Talk about working hard!

No one can deny it produces great academic results though, and many of them are happy to do it as they know living in a country with so many people means you really have to stand out to get the good jobs. Before anyone complains about the content of this note (like some of my previous observations), these are the words of my children - like it or not

Let me know what you think!

anvlaan, sinanevman, pelin has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Lee Marshall (litiancai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 2 N: 288] (1048)
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