An old pen pal of mine sent me a set of three lovely postcards from China! I’ll be featuring them these next few days. They all come equipped with an explanation of what’s shown on the card, so my words will be ancillary to the ones on the card. In other words, I get to be a little bit more lazy with my research today and the next two days. It’s like treating someone to home cooking, with “home cooking” meaning heating up that TV dinner; it’s pretty much all done, just needs to be served, though I can add my own spices if I’d like! So my research for this post mostly entailed watching Peking opera samples on YouTube. As of writing this post, my company’s VPN is down, so I’m shamelessly binging this during work hours. Life is good. Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that these figures here are not merely masks, but painted faces! For this reason, performers can add facial expressions to the deliberate gestures of their dancing and miming. I say “deliberate” because every movement appears to be fluid and intentional, down to even the pinky fingers on their fan-holding hands! Apparently becoming a performer in Peking opera (which, by the way, is also known as Jingju) takes some extensive studies that range between 8 and 10 years. That’s to not only perform it, but to appreciate it. Something I found interesting from watching the videos was the singing and the instruments. As a westerner, it is a bit unusual given the high-pitched voices of the singers and the seeming dissonance of the instruments (fiddles, lutes, etc.). This is, however, indicative of the style of this ancient art and what many viewers appreciate about it. I certainly think with an open mind it can be enjoyed! Thank you lots for this awesome postcard!