Well, it is about time for me and Kota Buku team left Shanghai.
We shall be back to our home sweet home very soon. As I think about it again, time could not be so friendly to me once I reach my home.
Therefore, I better start writing it all now, while waiting for to check out from the hotel.
Let me begin…
I was inspired by some people around me and told myself to be courages to explore on a ‘localised personal theme’ as a writer during the 3days event of the international expo.
Purposely, I choose ‘batik sarong’.
For the past 4 days I have viewed many scenes with different things occurred which considered new and unusual.
But, after a few session of discussion over breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, I thought that there is always a story hidden behind each scene.
Let me share with you some personal views which inspired me to write more children’s picture books.
1. About Books
Books are essential for learning. In a busy city like Shanghai, I supposed that bookstore is only located and available in major shopping malls.
During the 3 days exhibitions, I found that many publishers considered the illustrations, coloured and lay out of the books are essential in choosing books.
However, it also seems that parents would prefer to choose books which they can read to the children and the children able to read the book.
That means, it should be in either English or Chinese.
Parents are proud of their children as their children shows interest and choose good books for them.
The choice will mainly from the look and colours of the books.
Books seem to be found as an important items for the parents.
Yet, as I observed, children choose books which has element of ‘toys’, ‘fun’ and ‘play’ in it. Be it from the size, colours and illustrations of the books to the content of it.
Many exhibition booth which were crowded has this 2 main items:
1. Books with discount
2. Books with FREE items or gift.
I believe, parents in developing countries with Asian culture need to explore more on ‘quality’ beyond look and feel.
2. About children, family and education
In China, Shanghai in particular, I was informed that each family has only 1 child.
During the 3 days exhibitions session, I can see how parents in Shanghai care for their children and treasure them much.
Many have raised the children well and they behave well as their parents do. They smile politely, saying thank you and wave good bye to us as we chat with them.
Some has not reach the level of tolerance. Some mothers, fathers and grandparents were frantically looking for little children who seems do not care much on manners.
It is not fair to blame parents or even other family members for such situation. Among early childhood educators, they have been long discussing about ‘nature vs nature’ in young children life.
Naturally, in China, the people have a very high level of survival in order to be in line with their lifestyle.
At any part of the world, there will always 2 sides of stories found about children, family and education.
The nature and culture of each part of the world will make a huge difference on the children’s development.
However, in general, everyone believes that children should be given ample opportunity to explore and learn new things.
Those days, most parents would love to read books to their children hoping that their child will be the smartest boy or girl in school.
As parents become more educated, they have another side of view on their children’s future.
Nowadays, many parents were looking forward for their children to be able to live life well…and make MORE money!
3. Shanghai in my eyes
It is a city full with buildings, towers and malls.
I have not seen Shanghai before. This is my first time. I spent 1/2 day to study online about Shanghai. The information I found online was accurate, at least for me.
Though, language is a barrier, the people seems to be helpful in a way. As usual, as you are treated as tourist, there will always people who try to take advantage over you.
The traffic is always busy. I found that motorists in Shanghai do not need to wear any safety helmet. I conclude that the road is very safe and accident is hardly to be happened.
Yet, I am curious when I see busses, and other vehicles made their sharp turning for u-turn and park sideways which seems as unacceptable for certain situations.
As usual, they are used to see women wearing scarfs and cover their heads and known as ‘Muslim’. But, I still looked different in my ‘batik Sarong’.
Deep within me, I prefer to view a balance development of people and country.
It is hard to see things that we wanted to see. Yet, I believe that what is shown always brings lessons in life.
Overall, Shanghai has left a great inspiration and it helps me to build the next 6 months mission from now.