Heather Greenwood Davis blogs about her family's year-long trip around the world at Globe Trotting Mama. In an article at NatGeo's Intelligent Travel blog, she tells what it was like to be a black tourist family spending a month in Beijing. They were the center of attention, as people photographed their every move and crowded around to touch them.
As we looked around, we realized that there were things about our family that made as many as 20 people at a time stand in line to get their photo taken with us:
1. Our skin color. We were in China for 30 days, but it wasn’t until our last week, in Yangshuo, that we saw another black person. The American mother-daughter duo said we, too, were the first they’d seen in the country. The sight of the six of us chatting in the street set off a camera frenzy big enough to draw shopkeepers out to gawk.
2. We’re tall. My husband Ish is about 6 foot, I’m 5′ 8”, and our sons are big for their age. There are tall people in China, but people seemed genuinely impressed with our height, sometimes even using hand gestures for emphasis. But being tall has its advantages. No matter how big the crowd, we could usually spot each other.
3. Our hair. The boys’ mini Afros may as well have been unicorn horns. People reached out to touch them all the time. Cameras were held so precariously close to my son’s hair that I’m sure there are photos out there in which you can count the strands.
From personal experience, I know that outside of China's biggest cities, white people get the same attention. Davis assures us they had a great time in Beijing, and it was a learning experience for their sons. Read the rest at Intelligent Travel. Link -via Holy Kaw!
(Image credit: Heather Greenwood Davis)