Hong Kong – a gala dinner

21 Jun

One of the perks about attending the seminar in Hong Kong (where I laughed my way through the session), was that there was a gala dinner included.  I’ve never been to a true gala dinner and wasn’t quite sure what to expect – it was business formal dress and they told us to be ready for a night of entertainment.  I sat with one of my colleagues and our table quickly filled up with participants and their spouses from around the world – Canada, Mexico, Spain, China, Denmark…

The event started with a lion dance where the chairs of the various committees painted the eyes onto the lion so that it could see and perform.  The acrobatics and drumming were great – a part of Chinese culture that you don’t see in mainland China very often.  Our dinner was served western style – each person with a single portion – but Chinese specialties – with 8 courses.  The wine flowed freely and our tablemates told stories and we laughed and laughed.

Painting on the eyes

The lion prepares to dance

About halfway in the second act of the night started – it was a Sichuan face changer.  Sichuan face changing is a secretive art – it is a way of changing masks on your face without people being able to tell how you did it or where the masks go.  At first the performer was on a stage quite a way from me, so I thought – oh, I’m just not close enough – but then he worked the room and changed his mask while he was shaking the hand of a woman at my table.  It was really incredible.  My colleague (who is Chinese) said that she’d never seen it in person before – only on TV, so I felt special to be able to have the priveledge to attend.

The face changer and one of his masks

Another mask and different shot

All the photos here were taken by the official photographer at the event I attended and can be found on the IAA website.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera for the dinner, but at least I was able to get a few shots from him.

Have you ever attended a gala dinner?  I’d highly recommend it if you ever have the chance.

As an aside, the last couple of weeks I would imagine that everyone has started to enjoy the summer and not browse blogs.  This is a good thing – we probably all spend too much time in front of the computer, but if you do stop by, please feel free to leave a comment to let me know that I still have folks paying attention.  Your comments really mean a lot – my blog will turn one year old pretty soon and I’d like to finish the year on a high.


16 Responses to “Hong Kong – a gala dinner”

  1. Darrell June 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    There’s a Sichuan restaurant in Shanghai, somewhere in the FFC that features a face changer show during dinner. I can’t remember the name of it, but the food is very good. If interested, I could ask a friend.

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      I’d definitely be interested – for a special occasion dinner. It was fascinating! Let me know.

  2. Anne June 21, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I am reading your post while outside on my patio. Oh technology and multitasking! Still great one year on!

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks for the shout out! Glad to know you made it to your new place.

  3. thirdeyemom June 21, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Love the party! I can only imagine. Another cultural night out, huh? On an aside note, I agree with the whole summer thing. Readership is down and it is hard to find time to read blogs. I’m in the same boat! But I’ll keep reading ya, no worries! I can’t remember if I asked before or not (probably did and forgot) but how long have you been in China and how long are you planning to stay? What are your next travel plans?

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      My travel plans (and why I didn’t answer sooner) was I just finished a trip to Tai Shan (Tai Mountain). I’ve already been in China 5 years this fall and for the near term don’t plan on leaving! In July, I’m not sure with my work schedule yet.

      • thirdeyemom June 25, 2012 at 9:10 am #

        How wonderful! If I wasn’t settled down with the kids, I’d be doing the same. I’m glad though that my husband loves to travel as much as me so there will be a day when I hope we can get back into really seeing places and staying a month or two at a time somewhere. 🙂

      • gkm2011 June 25, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        Travel comes in different forms and being flexible is the most important. I’m sure that you’ll travel again like that and I imagine my future will have periods where I won’t. We have to enjoy the now.

      • thirdeyemom June 26, 2012 at 10:23 am #

        So true! I agree as time seems to keep going so fast and before I know it the kids will be off to college! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. expatlingo June 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Are you kidding? It’s so alternately rainy or oppressively hot outside that this must be *the* blog reading season for Hong Kong! Ten days from now we depart for a long summer trip to the US when my blog reading (and posting) will be more spotty…

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      Hope your summer trip goes well. And I agree in Shanghai proper with the rains coming up – this is prime season as well for blog reading (when I’m not traveling, of course)!

  5. Selvinas June 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Face changing sounds interesting! Hope some day i can see it as well and find out how they do it. But I think I saw a documentary on it a while ago. But I didn’t watch it 😦

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      If the documentary comes up again – I’d strongly recommend it. It was fascinating.

  6. valerie June 22, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I’m still reading! Sorry for not commenting — please keep them coming! I’ve never been to a gala dinner though. Hope you’ve been doing well and enjoying your summer!

    • gkm2011 June 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      Hiya – glad to know that you’re still hanging with me! The summer is going well so far. The heat is a bit much though.


  1. The fourth quarter update « 中国 Jumble - July 15, 2012

    […] post that merited the most comments over the last quarter was my post about the gala dinner that I attended in Hong Kong. That dinner was a look at a side of China that on the mainland I don’t see very often and it […]

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