For my independent project, I selected the topic of "kites" and "kite making" in China (yesterday, I actually changed the topic to environmental NGOs, but I am nevertheless going to continue my investigation of the kite scene). Kites are such a important part of Chinese history and culture. Not only were some of the earliest kites invented in China, but they have played a part in military strategies and now folk art. When I was young, I remember my dad making kites for me out of bamboo. Of course being young, I would play with them carelessly and recklessly rip the thin paper material within a few days.
With the help of Zhuansun laoshi (my 独立报告老师 and she is really helpful！The 独立报告 doesn't feel like interview homework at all, but rather like cool mission trips around Beijing) Today, I visited another kite store in Beijing. The ride was about an hour long, and the store was very different from the last kite store I visited with Zhuansun laoshi. Whereas the last kite store owner was quite secretive about their kite business, this store owner was quite loquacious and I learned a lot--some good, some bad, some kind of sketchy. He introduced himself as from Weifang, which is recognized as the birthplace of kites, and every year Weifang hosts an international kite festival (it originally hosted the first ever international kite festival) that draws tens of thousands of people. If I can, I plan to reschedule finals so that I can go to the Weifang kite festival.
The couple who owns the store