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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter: The Story Behind the Picture

[This essay was originally posted to "The Third Tale," a blog on Weebly. In transferring it I have updated and made corrections where necessary.]

I don't know why, but when I thought about a picture to use as an Easter greeting, this one came instantly to mind.

I had been walking (for hours) an old pilgrimage route in Guangzhou (better known to some as "Canton"). On a busy pedestrian shopping street, these two approached me for a handout. No, I said, and turned to walk away. In fact, I have never given any money to beggars in China, as it's a pretty well-organized racket (like the Indian one seen in Slumdog Millionaire).

But these two were so happy and--I don't know--JOLLY, that I turned back almost instantly and offered them 5 yuan (about 40 cents US each) for a picture. This was a modeling fee, NOT a handout!

They happily agreed (they did everything "happily") and here's the heavily-PhotoShopped shot.

I later saw them on a side-street playing chess.

Why this one for Easter? I don't know. Joy? Buoyancy? An indomitable spirit?

Anyway, Happy Easter.

P.S. Just for comparison, here's the original.

Categories: Art, China, Photography

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