National Day 1984

It's National Day here in China, the day that marks the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  China may be a several-centuries old civilization, but this particular nation is today just celebrating its 62nd birthday.

It makes me fill a bit old when I realize that I was here for China's35th birthday, in 1984. I was teaching at a small teachers college in Zhengzhou, Henan Province at the time, and to help get the foreigners in the province (all 20 of us) in the proper patriotic mood, the provincial Foreign Affairs Office (otherwise known as the "Barbarian Handlers Office" by the author Bill Holm) arranged for us all to sit in the VIP section for the big National Day Parade in the city.

We sat there for hour upon hour as what seemed like delegations from every single work unit in the province marched past us, singing, dancing,  banging cymbals, beating drums, playing instruments, waving plastic flowers and inner tubes, and riding colorful floats.

Here are a couple of photos of that memorable event….

(Pardon the photo being backwards. It was scanned by a TA who couldn't read Chinese.)


We never did figure out the celebratory significance of the plastic inner tubes!