ACROBATS AND PING-PONG: Young China's Games, Sports, and Amusements by Isobel Willcox

ACROBATS AND PING-PONG: Young China's Games, Sports, and Amusements

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Young China's games, sports, dances, songs, books, and other amusements are presented here in words and pictures that smack of a public relations campaign but nevertheless succeed in conveying a favorable impression There are striking examples of sportsmanship (""cooperation first, competition second"" is a motto) and frequent comparisons with life before the Revolution: An old peasant grandfather watching the children at their games remembers that ""When I was a boy we didn't know what a ball game was. Our days were all work."" Willcox emphasizes the policy of combining suspense and entertainment in books, plays, and songs with education and ideas about service to the community. There is more emphasis on entertainment now, she notes, but the lessons are still there. (However, one wonders about the new values when Willcox cites as an example ""a rollicking new popular song for older children and adults"" which ""says that everyone wants to get a washing machine so that China will catch up with the modern countries."") The photos, which are many and prominent, are far from candid (most are credited to Xinhua News Agency, courtesy of U.S.-China People's Friendship Association) but they are attractive, as are all the smiling, healthylooking youngsters they portray. An agreeable supplement to a study of contemporary China, and sure-fire recruiting material for a cultural exchange program.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead