China's National Day celebrations include dancing dwarves and an animal orchestra

Ceri Roberts
Bad taste? China opens Kingdom of the Dwarves theme park
Bad taste? China opens Kingdom of the Dwarves theme park

Xinhuanet


Rehearsals are underway for the celebrations to mark China's National Day Holiday - and this year performers include singing and dancing dwarves and an animal orchestra.

The celebrations will begin next week as part of China's National Day Holiday, which runs from October 1 to 7.

The Daily Mail reports that in Guangzhou, the capital of China's Guangdong Province, elephants are being trained to perform as part of the Animal Orchestra of Xiang Jiang Zoo.

China's National Day celebrations include dancing dwarves and an animal orchestra
China's National Day celebrations include dancing dwarves and an animal orchestra

Rex


They will perform onstage for the first time, alongside a baboon-playing flute, a chimp that plays drums, elephants on big drums and chimes and a hippo on bass.

A troupe of performing dwarves, from the Kingdom of the Dwarves theme park, which is located in Kumming, which is the capital of China's Yunnan Province, will also take part.

The park is home to up to 100 performers, who are all subject to strict rules which dictate who is allowed to live and work there.

All performers must measure under 4ft 3in tall and be aged 18 to 40 years-old. They receive 1,000 RMB (£102) per month, along with free room and board.

Unsurprisingly, the park has been criticised by those who worry that the community has become little more than a freak show for visitors. However, supporters say that the park is providing a livelihood for those who would struggle to make a living elsewhere.

Kingdom of Dwarves spokesman Fu Tien said: "As small people we are used to being pushed around and exploited by big people. But here there aren't any big people and everything we do is for fun."

GlobalPost reports that employees put on shows for small groups of Chinese tourists by singing, dancing and performing slapstick comedy. For the most part, they are not accomplished performers and are on stage simply because they are different.

And, although some reports have suggested that the park is a protective community founded by dwarves, GlobalPost says that it is actually a for-profit theme park run by a Yunnan province-based venture capital company.

Do you think that China's National Day celebrations are exploitative? Let us know below...

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