I tried to make this post a few days ago, but the internet ate it and I got frustrated.
It was early in the afternoon, and I was sitting in my room killing time. The Junior I and II students had been sent home for the weekend, so I had no classes to teach.
I heard some strange noise outside, and figured it was just the kids, since it was their break between classes. However, the noise kept getting louder, and it sounded like music. Finally I got frustrated with it, and took a look outside.
Behind the school is a long narrow dirt road, between the back wall of the school and a farmer's field. It looks so much like roads in the rural areas of Canada, except no gravel.
The noise was coming from instruments. Cymbals, something I'd say was a flute or a recorder, and something I'd say was a stringed instrument. I couldn't actually see them, they were lost in the crowd walking down the road in what seemed like a proccesional.
The processional was led by what looked like six men with white skull caps on. Behind them was a crowd of people, and I couldn't pick out anything in particular about them, except that they were carrying three large fans, like the "chinese" fans we could get as kids, that folded out with the handles at the bottom. One was white, and the other two were multi coloured.
At the back were four people wearing red robes and hats. Somewhere in the mob they were carrying what looked like a little Chinese pagoda made of red paper, but it was hard to tell exactly what it was.
I did take several photos from my window. I considered running down the three flights of stairs and trying to get a better photo, but then I wondered exactly how offensive that would be if this were a wedding or a funeral, so decided against it. Once again, too Canadian to be allowed to travel.
I still have the music running through my head. I love traditional Chinese music.
I was kicking myself for not having studied more about the culture before I came here. I have friends back home who probably know exactly what this proccesional was, but I haven't a clue, and it makes me feel bad. And I just don't want to ask about it, because that would be rude, too. Too bloody Canadian to be allowed to travel, I tell you...