This is the scene immediately after the Sunday morning service concludes at Tianjin’s ShÄnxÄ« LÃ¹ church; people have to wait for some personal prayer space at the altar:
ShÄnxÄ« LÃ¹ is a TSPM church (Three-Self Patriotic Movement). These kinds of Chinese churches are also sometimes called registered churches, official churches, or government churches, depending on the bias of the author. Here’s an official version of what that means: China’s Protestant Churches to Adhere to “Three-Self” Principles. This church seats several hundred, and it’s been full each of the couple times I dropped in.
Karaoke Party with the teachers!
We sang karaoke for FOUR HOURS this afternoon with some of our teachers and classmates. Tons of fun, and our throats are sore now. I’d include a video clip of one of our teachers singing Wannabe by the Spice Girls, but she’d probably kill me. We sang a mix of Chinese and English songs. I once read somewhere that one of the reasons Mainlanders love karaoke so much is because it’s one of the few places where they get to explicitly verbally express romantic feelings. On the way out we passed a room where a middle-aged businessman was totally rocking out to some love ballad.
Riding back from the karaoke place we discovered that it’s another burning night, when the neighbours send ghost money to their dead relatives. This was taken right outside our apartment building:
See “There’s hell to pay” or the related links below for more about burning stuff for dead relatives.