It’s not every day you catch a group exercise lesson. That is unless you are in China. Our first morning in Beijing we arrived at 5 am, caught the flag ceremony at Tiananmen Square and headed over to the Temple of Heaven Complex. Hundreds of local Chinese workers were already in the park, participating in group calisthenics.
Reinstated as compulsory last year by the government, calisthenic routines are broadcast over public radio twice a day. Except for a three year hiatus around the Olympics, it’s been this way since 1951. I wonder how many “private” companies in China make calisthenics compulsory?
Laugh as we may, watching rows and rows of Chinese perform exercises in unison was a rather interesting look into their culture. The park it’s self had a number of other community activities that early in the morning, from tango dancing (seriously) to chess, to musical and theater performances. It certainly says something about the lack of recreation programs in our own society.
To see more of our favorite photos from around the world check out our travel photo page. Let us know your favorites and we’ll include them in our photo of the day series.
China was an interesting country to say the least. The Middle Country as it calls itself was fascinating. Check out our Guide to China for things to do, or check out our posts from China to see what we did over the month we were there.