Working the stage

by Jason Lee on February 6, 2014

By Global Times

Migrant workers sing at the Third Spring Festival Gala for Migrant Workers in Beijing. Photo: Yang Yang

For at least three hours, migrant workers and their children became the stars of the stage. They became singers, dancers and comedians in the Spring Festival Gala held for migrant workers.

The show, created by Beijing Migrant Workers’ Home, an NGO, is now in its third year. The show was directed and performed by migrant workers from across the country. A band from Thailand also performed at the gala, which was held at the Chaoyang Cultural Center.

Wu Yuxin, a fifth-grader at Tongxin Experimental School, a school for migrant children, has written a musical with her schoolmates. Her parents have been working in Beijing for about 20 years. In the musical, the kids said that they want to be with their parents and live in a big, warm house instead of moving all the time.

Sun Heng, a migrant worker turned singer and one of the founders of Beijing Migrant Workers’ Home, said they hope the show will reflect the thoughts and feelings of the migrant workers and also serve as a stage for them to shine.

The show was taped and a video of the gala has been uploaded online.

It’s estimated that there are about 60 million children left behind in rural areas when their parents go to work in the cities, and there are an estimated 36 million “migrant children” who come to live in cities with their parents.

Students at Tongxin Experimental School perform in an original musical they wrote themselves. Photo: Yang Yang


Children from Tongxin Experimental School get ready to go onstage. Photo: Yang Yang

Yang Jinlin, a former host on Phoenix TV, hosts the gala with Shen Jinhua, the president of Tongxin Experimental School, a school for migrant children in Beijing. Photo: Yang Yang

Xiao Qiang, a migrant worker from Shandong Province, sings at the gala. Photo: Yang Yang


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