As I write this, I am watching a group of kindergardeners of Chinese descent perform in a school pageant of sorts. It is a Chinese New Year party put on by a Chinese Cultural Organization. I don't understand a word of it. I am simply the technical support. As the stage manager for my school, any time another school uses our stage, I have to be present to run the systems and provide technical support.
As I watch the performances, I am reminded of certain universal facts:
- there is always one kid who is up on stage mugging for the crowd. It is always cute.
- the kid who sings loudest is invariably the one closest to the microphone. It, also, is always cute.
- teenage girls will become shy and coquettish on stage. Teenage boys turn into blushing wrecks incapable of intelligible speech when paired with one of these coquettish girls. The interactions between them are cute.
- a five year old singing a song in her tiny five-year-old voice will melt the heart of the most stoney-souled person. Need I mention the cuteness?
- parents at a school production are some of the rudest spectators in the world. There is no cuteness to behold here.
- Chinese paper lantern decorations are beautiful.
- listening to parents talking to each other when the kid on the stage is not theirs, making it hard to hear the kid up on stage, drives me absolutely up a tree.
- children of Chinese descent are some of the most polite children I have ever encountered. Their politeness is cute.
- I swear, that guy over there looks like Kim Jong Il. Scary, not cute.
- this has been a great experience for me, and I am thankful I had a chance to witness this.
- hearing Frere Jacques sung in Chinese causes a bit of language dissonance on the part of the monolingual. Oh, by the way, it is cute.
- there are Chinese words that sound like the "F" word.
- the Chinese language has a lot of hard accented syllables in it. As a language it is about as subtle as a machine gun.
- a microphone that suddenly stops working in the middle of a performance is enough to make me want to pull out what little hair I have left.
- children make adults smile far more than they make us frown. I think they are God's Way of bringing more joy into the world, and I am thankful for them, even though I have none of my own.
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