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Thursday, September 27, 2012

China plumbs new depths of degradation with Kingdom of the Dwarves theme park and an elephant orchestra

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Dwarves sing, dance and act during a twice-daily performance for tourists

A dwarf does a one-hand push-up before the opening of a show featuring dwarves singing, dancing and acting while hundreds of miles away elephants play in an orchestra.
These are some of the entertainments, along with countless circuses and zoos that house animals in horrific conditions, tolerated and enjoyed by some in modern China.
In Guangzhou, the capital of southern China's Guangdong Province, elephants learn to perform for the public as part of the Animal Orchestra of Xiang Jiang Zoo.

The Animal Orchestra of Xiang Jiang Zoo, Guangzhou, China, playing for tourists

A baboon plays on flute, a chimp on drums, elephants on big drums and chimes and a hippo on bass.
They are being trained to perform on stage officially for the first time over China's National Day Holiday from October 1 to 7.

Fairy dwarves at the Kingdom of the Dwarves" just outside of Kunming, the capital of China's southern Yunnan Province

One thousand miles away, just outside of Kunming, the capital of China's southern Yunnan Province, dwarves perform in a mountain commune twice-daily performance for tourists at the Kingdom of the Dwarves.
The dwarves set up the village to escape discrimination and bullying from normal sized people, yet hoping to attract tourist dollars from the 'theme park' of fairy tale characters they've managed to build.

Fairy dwarves wait in their 'mushroom' hut at their Kingdom of the Dwarves

The group have built mushroom-shaped houses to live in and are donning fairytale costumes in a bid to woo tourists to their attraction.
The park has around 100 employees who are subject to strict rules in place about who can live and work in the park.
All inhabitants must measure under 4ft 3in tall. It is a self sufficient community with a police force and fire brigade serving inhabitants.

The community of dwarves set up their own village to escape discrimination and bullying from normal sized people

Wu Wei, manager of the Dwarf Empire, told tourist site Gokunming.com that those working at the park receive 1,000 RMB (£102) per month, and free room and board – better remuneration than many university graduates in Kunming hope for. Employees are between 18 and 40.
'As small people we are used to being pushed around and exploited by big people. But here there aren't any big people and everything we do is for us,' said spokesman Fu Tien.
The theme park has come under fire from those concerned about the group's human rights, sparking strong views on whether their community is merely a curious circus act for visitors.

The dwarves are hoping to attract tourist dollars from the theme park of fairy tale characters they've managed to build

'When I first heard this I pictured myself obscure freak shows from a hundred years back,' wrote one commenter on the GoKunming website. 'Pay the entrance fee and you can watch these people perform.'
Those in favour of the theme park argue that with unemployment levels high across China, they are simply finding a new way to work.
'They can't work anywhere, they are disabled people, so we have a village for them to live and be happy in. No one would hire a dwarf,' one commenter said on GoKunming.

A dwarf does a one-hand push-up prior to the opening of a show featuring dwarves singing, dancing and acting

The animals will perform on stage officially for the first time over China's National Day Holiday

The orchestra has members including a chimp on drums, elephants on big drums and chimes, a hippo on bass and baboons on flute

source: dailymail



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