Dragon Boat

September 18th, 2010

Ask Miss Mouse what she did today and she’ll tell you — “I saw dragon boat!” Today was the annual Dragon Boat Festival down on the riverfront and my parents and I took Miss Mouse down to check out all the action.

Although she was enchanted by the dragon boat out on the water, I confess I was a bit underwhelmed. I was picturing something like a Chinese version of a Viking warship. Big. Colorful. BIG. Mom and I also mistakenly thought we’d read that there would be dragon boat races and so I anticipated seeing a whole flotilla of them out on the river.

The reality was one small boat, about the size of a big canoe.

It was indeed brightly painted and older festival-goers (ages 9 and up) could sign up to try their hand at rowing it. The rest of the festival showcased various Asian cultures and social groups from the city. There were arts and crafts tables (Miss Mouse decorated a very fine cut-out rodent in honor of her being born in the Year of the Rat), a number of food stalls (mmmm…mango sticky rice), and a stage highlighting dance and martial arts performances.

Miss Mouse was completely entranced by the performances. We sat for at least a half an hour, just watching, and then she kept wanting to come back. She would stand on my lap and bop to the music, turning around periodically to ask “what are they doing?”

I found myself wondering if she would have been that enthralled by the live performances if we let her watch TV. After the fast pace and musical gyrations of children’s television, would three little girls with fans hold your attention? I can’t be sure, but I was thrilled to watch her enjoyment of the show.

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