Children Banned from Concert in Beijing
I've just returned with my husband and 4 1/2 year old daughter from a Yo Yo Ma concert in Beijing. We moved here from the States two months ago and when we heard Yo Yo Ma was going to be here we happily jumped at the opportunity to pay nearly $600 US dollars to attend his concert. We had 3rd row seats because we figured it would only be worth it if my daughter could really see up close. I wish I could say it was wonderful. In fact what I really wish is that I could say that just as I had hoped it inspired my daughter to become a lifetime lover of music. Unfortunately, instead all my daughter learned is that music is only for adults to enjoy. Why? Because, the security guard at the gate wouldn't let any children under 1.2 meters in height enter the auditorium. My daughter stood on her tiptoes when measured, but they were not amused. Huge tears rolled down her big brown eyes, and again, no one budged. When we asked the ticket office why they didn't tell us this when they sold us the tickets they said it was our duty to think to ask. They would not entertain a refund either. In fact, the guard informed me that other countries would never allow children in either. I informed him that my daughter had been attending concerts and broadway shows in the States since she was 2 years old. I challenged them to let her in and escort her out if she made a peep. The thought even crossed my mind to enter myself and see if I could find a way to tell Mr. Ma myself that 3 heartbroken young children were sitting outside in tears while he played. I felt certain that if he knew he would care. My spirited American side put up the best fight I could in rusty Mandarin, but my defeated Chinese husband stood by the sidelines and muttered that this was China and there was nothing you could do about it. I actually considered just ignoring them, grabbing my daughter and forging ahead through the security gate. Meanwhile those without tickets saw this as an opportunity and leaped upon us begging us to give our tickets to them. One kind foreigner actually approached us and offered to watch our child so we could still enjoy the concert. I kindly refused. That would defeat the whole purpose. We had come to teach our daughter that music is beautiful and can be enjoyed by anyone. If we wanted to enjoy a night out by ourselves we could have left her with our 8 month old son and our nanny. I am sad that some of the very principles Mr. Ma has attempted to teach were defeated this very evening. Before we left I knelt down at my daughter's level and whispered to her that one day when she becomes famous and performs in China, to promise me she'll let children attend.