You’ve probably heard that China’s official national pastime is ping pong. I’ve heard jokes about gymnastics and soccer too, but I think those all should be thrown out. (And recently online shopping, but you’re not going to get fit doing that.)
What I see being done the very most by people of all ages is uniform group dancing.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen grandmas practicing a dance together with fans in the park, (or in the subway station hallway if it’s snowing or raining). The toddlers that can’t go to kindergarten yet tag along with their grannies to shake their split-pant-booties right along with the music.
(This video and the one below is hosted on YouTube – so you’ll need a compatible browser and you know… other stuff)
Every weekend that the weather isn’t too cold, a portable boombox is brought out to a corner of a nearby apartment complex and scores of grannies and grandpas head out for a romantic night.
If you need a huge company show, you’ll find grown adults putting on dances too. And this fad has spread to international schools in China too, with one international school CEO admitting to me she shook it out with Taylor Swift for a company event. Could you imagine a principal doing that in the US? I can’t unless she is a rare super confident powerhouse.
(Above is a group of grown men practicing for their company event. Could we bribe grown American men to do this? I wish! Every one of us would pay to see it.)
I’ve participated in these shows. Bobby has participated in these shows, too.
Heck, even our kids have put on at least two of these types of shows per school year, sometimes more. It’s pretty typical for kindergarten kids to do this.
The secret for children as young as four being able to coordinate in some pretty impressive dances is that as soon as the kiddos wake up from naps, teachers will turn on the music and practice the dance sequence, which is to be performed months later or sometimes at the end of the year.
You can easily immerse yourself in culture by going to a park and joining one of these dancing troupes.
Or if dancing isn’t you’re forte, there’s definitely going to be a few other cultural hobbies, like Chinese hacky sack, tai chi, tuo luo (those huge top spinners in the park), badminton, soccer, basketball, or of course, ping pong.
If you’re really lucky you might see a few of those big guys with the huge whips that make you fear for your life. Don’t worry. They’re actually pretty nice despite the rock hard exterior.
If there’s a park around, you don’t need a pricey gym membership (hence saving money), as it’s a center of urban Chinese community fitness. You’ll find running or walking groups. If you’re language is terrible, don’t worry. You’ll be welcome as long as you keep in line.
If you’re worried about working out while outside during the polluted winter days, don’t. Just get an idMASK, which was tested on an actual iron woman during her workouts. I use it on my workouts (with probably not as much output) and love it too.
I’ve tried Vogmasks for workouts, but once they get wet, I don’t have any confidence that they’re still working. I never wonder about idMASKs when I sweat. Add Preston to order (QR Code is below under idMASK winner review) and don’t forget to tell him I sent you his way.
And finally for giveaway announcements and reviews!
The winners for the Winter Care Giveaway were all excited to receive their prizes.
Hamilton G., Carly S, Olesya, Bu Ding Lan, and Ting Ting won the Argan oil from Waijiao. Winners said James, owner of Waijiao, was prompt with his shipping and, surprise!, sent extra little gifts along with the Argan oil.
I have personally compared his oil with competitors and I prefer this Argan oil over others. I’ve broken out on my face from other Argan oils, but James said that if the Argan oil is heavy or greasy, it’s not the right kind, not organic, or not made the same way as his certified organic Argan oil.
James Special Offer: Get a 10 percent discount off on Waijiao products with code chinamoms10.
WeChat user german won the idMASK prize.
He decided to get a medium version of the new adult mask for his wife, who has a smaller sized face. She said it’s a great mask! There are large adult, medium adult, and kid sized masks available from idMASK.
Preston’s Special Offer: Every mask purchased gets a free anti-pollution salt spa treatment worth RMB 388 from AWA Health in Beijing, but you’ve got to buy and book through Preston.
Rebecca S. won the doterra essential oils. She’s having a baby soon and so the oils came at a great time for her family.
They use essential oils in a diffuser, not medically or topically, but as a safe and natural way to freshen the air, especially for the baby. Where else can you find an essential oil in China that you can know for sure won’t hurt your baby?
Amanda’s Special Offer: Beijing residents will get a free hostess gift of oils if they would like to host a party with their friends to learn about essential oil benefits and uses.
Susan won the bestsellers trio from The Green Room and gave it as a gift to her friend for Christmas. Such a great gift idea!
My husband has also given me The Green Room products for gifts. I always enjoy the smells and how it makes my skin feel.
Gillian won the waterbaby from Greenwave.
Here’s what she had to say, “I feel more confident to let my baby enjoy the water, because I know it’s safer now. Especially when she likes to lick her hands and play in the water while having her bath. Water flowing from the faucet now is definitely softer and smells good. Thanks a lot!”
Greenwave’s Special Offer: Get a 10 percent off on all of Greenwave’s water products by scanning the QR code below and sending the e-voucher.
Bayaraa won the Every Day’s a Spa Day bag set from Velveteen’s Secret Potions.
“Just before Christmas 🎄 I won a prize from China Moms Blog and it was products from VSP(Velveteen’s Secret Potion)! I have to say that I was very surprised 😮 and of course happy when I became one ☝ of the winners from more than 150 Moms! I want to say a huge thanks to Vanessa Jencks (admin of the group) for giving me chance to know and try the wonderful products from VSP.
When my prize arrived it was in a beautiful and cute bag. I was amazed by so many different and beautifully scented cosmetics and all are 100% natural! At the moment I am really addicted by Chocomint Lip Gloss, which is gently caring for my lips in this cold and dry weather. Also I liked the nourishing serum which makes my skin smooth and bright. It seems like my skin is breathing during the night and I really recommend trying the shampoo that makes my hair soft and shiny. I’m definitely going to introduce all VSP’s products to my friends and try all the other products!”
VSP’s Special Offer: Francesca calls all of her members “very special people” and gives them a 5% off. Connect with her to become a member. She assured me China Moms Blog readers would be well taken care of with extra goodies every time they make a purchase.
Do you visit parks often to meet your neighbors or stay fit? Comment below or tell us in the group.
Join the group of other China-focused parents on Facebook by clicking here or on WeChat by scanning the QR code
Vanessa Jencks founded China Family Blog to connect internationally-minded parents through semi-humorous stories and China-life-and-parenting fails. She is the former managing editor of beijingkids magazine; see her previous work here. She is also the founder of the 600+ member organization, Innovative Educators.