Some of you may remember Wei Wei from the fall of 2008-09 at Mounds Park Academy. He came as an intern to the Chinese program and worked with Tian in her classroom.
Well last May, Wei Wei finished up his studies at a performing arts university in Beijing, and he is now working here as an assistant director for a major events company. Wei Wei played a supporting role in planning parts of China’s 60th Anniversary parade and extravaganza. Now he is helping prepare for an event at the East Asian Games and an international benefit concert in April.
We recently met up with Wei Wei for a hot pot dinner on Gui Jie (Ghost Street). In old times, this street got its name from being the site of many funeral parlors and cemeteries. Now it houses a lot of great restaurants and bars. Red lanterns are hung on the boulevard for blocks and blocks, giving it a beautiful glow in the evening.
Earlier this fall Wei Wei also got us free tickets to the Beijing opera. This is a traditional Chinese theater that goes back to the 1700s. It was fun to see the show, and the acrobatics/blocking were very cool. But we decided to leave at intermission because the show’s characteristically high pitched vocals and irregular (some might say “abrasive”) music were starting to give us headaches. Plus we were sleepy after a long day at work. The night we were there the theater was far from full, evidence this art form now exists mostly to preserve cultural tradition. Nonetheless, we were very grateful for the opportunity.