Wuhan has several large university campuses, this weekend we visited one of these campuses to have a look at the annual Wuhan University International Culture Festival, an event we had heard about through some of our American friends who would be helping out grilling chicken for the USA stall. The festival is held to celebrate the cultural diversity of the university's student body and allow the students to share information about their country and cultures. The atmosphere was amazing, the feel of universities the world over even though now I find myself slightly tinged with bitterness next to the carefree student teenagers who don't have a stack of marking for tomorrow weighing on their mind and can just get drunk.
On arrival at the festival you could buy a fake passport in which you were encouraged to take to each 'country' and get a visa and short message written by the students at that stand.
The festival was huge and varied with each country sharing a little of their individual culture India had bhangra, The African stalls had bass heavy music and tantalising scents wafting from open barbecues, Korea were rocking Gangnam style, Mongolia had a yurt and the French were handing out delicate little pastries. England, had nothing. Not represented by any English students the English stall stood empty and boring with little interest or care in a country that usually fascination in Chinese students. We have castles, tea parties, fish and chips, the royal family and Harry Potter! After seeing how our great nation had fallen we decided unanimously to come back the next day and sort England out.
The evening was spent making bunting and posters and the next day we returned and did what the English do best, we took over and sorted people into orderly queues. To a soundtrack of The Clash, Blur, Pulp and The Sex Pistols as well as other British artists, we signed passports and had our photo's taken steadily for the next few hours. We were asked to sign our love to people, write our phone numbers and take photo's with children, this was the closest we were likely to get to being famous and we milked it for all it was worth. I was asked to sign a text book from Sir Isaac Newton, I was confused but I did it.
Hours later we left with inflated ego's, blistered hands and temporary blindness from excessive photograph taking.
It was though an awesome weekend, the carnival atmosphere of the festival was so much fun.It gave me so many ideas for countries that I want to visit and gave us the opportunity to meet some of the students from the university, with whom we had dinner and are going to be keeping in touch with.