Volunteer Intern: Celebrating Children’s Day

China welcomes Children’s Day with the crackling of fireworks at six in the morning until the very next day. At least it drowned out the sound of the roosters crowing in the morning, no? (Volunteers at the orphanage will understand).

It’s a day where children are celebrated and recognized… and also stuffed with one too many treats and toys. As a Korean-Canadian-American, It was an especially interesting experience for me. I have always heard about Children’s Day from books, pictures, and the internet, but I have never experienced it myself.

In my Motherland, South Korea, Children are taken out to amusement parks, given gifts, and a lifetime supply of candy. I remember asking my parents long ago, “Why do you get to have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but I don’t get to have Children’s day?” They responded with a witty, “everyday is Children’s Day for you.” I suppose that is true to some extent.

In the West, the pressures of academics, honor, respect, and family status is not as extreme as it is in Asian countries. So, to receive that one day with zero percent pressure and one-hundred percent fun is very much needed!

With that being said, all at the foster home had a lot of fun! We celebrated with local families from the town and the city. There was a lot of singing, dancing, booty-shaking (some serious business), food, prizes, games, fishing, and more! Kids from different campuses got to join us as well- It was such a treat to see traditional instruments being played by the children from the Blind School.

I really think that opening up the foster home to the public (people had to purchase tickets in advance) was very much needed. It helped a lot of the locals to see and understand that our kids are just like their kids. They like to sing, dance, run, laugh, and have fun! They are brilliant, funny, and absolutely adorable. I hope to see this happening more often and that more and more of the people of China would come to appreciate ALL children, including those who are, at many times, forgotten.

Rachel Yoon

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