04-18-2008 16:35

By Yin Chen

We arrived in Southern Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna was just in time for the Dai Water Splashing Festival. The festival is the Dai New Year, where everyone charges to the streets in a huge water fight that is believed to spread blessing for the new year. To me, it seems like everyone is back to being 8 years old, seeing whose supersoaker can hit the most people. The entire city goes wild with excitement as everyone is attacked/ blessed with water. On the streets, young people stand in the backs of pickup trucks filled with water, as they laugh, shout, and drench away. Children run around squirting with their guns, and babies toddle with water balloons in hand. Even the elderly get in on the action, peering out from their second floor apartments and dumping a basin of water here and there onto an unknowing passerby. As one innocent victim looked up, the old man and woman snuck back into their house, closed the window, and laughed sneakily in their fortress. How kniving of them!

Another drenched trip was in Hunan for the Tujia minority. During the time of our stay, it rained virtually everday. Ontop of that, we filmed under waterfalls, rafted in rivers, and even in rainy gorges where we had to hold onto a metal chain for support as we climbed further on slippery and tough terrain. Filming and climbing slowly, it took us 5, 6 hours to finish the journey. No umbrella, raincoat, or shoes could keep us from coming out soaking wet. We continued the next day, drafting on a rubber dinghy for two or three hours. We cheered after we passed the most adventurous part of the ride, but soon were taken aback by the screams of the dinghy behind us. Their raft had completely flip over, the rafters thrown into the water and rock. My heart raced seeing those terrified people. Luckily, they were all rescued to shore. The director and I soon started calling this trip “the water special.”


Editor:Liu Fang