Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kingdom of the Little People

When I saw this article in the New York Times today, I was both kind of horrified and incredibly curious.  I have always had a (I admit it, sometimes politically incorrect) fascination with little people, so when I saw that there was an entire theme park in China manned by dwarfs and midgets, I got really excited.  T and I were thinking about going trekking in Nepal next month, but maybe we should change our plans and go to Kunming instead.

In all seriousness, the article does raise some interesting points about China and the public's perception of disabled people (this was how little people were referred to in the article, but I not sure it's really appropriate).  The park has received a lot of criticism from Western groups like Handicap International and Little People of America, Inc., but the park creator and employees argue that Kingdom of the Little People has created jobs for those who otherwise wouldn't have opportunities and it has created a unique community and support system for the employees.  Nevertheless, I find it hard to believe that one actor in a Swan Lake parody, "a crowd pleaser in which male dwarfs dress up in pink tights and tutus and wiggle their derri√®res", claimed that when the audience clapped, he felt proud.  Maybe something got lost in translation.
Kingdom of the Little People: Politically incorrect and offensive or beneficial for the height-challenged people of China?

1 comment:

Heidi Palmer said...

I went just recently to this park, and overall I have to say found it more amusing kitsch than anything. The people didn't seem forced into it or anything like that. I think it's interesting to see different sides of China, and this is one.

Heid - For Travels Sake

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