Dragon dance

Chinese men entertaining troops, France, during World War I. Superficially this photograph appears to be of a peaceful scene with Chinese men putting on a performance for an audience of nurses and soldiers. The Chinese are probably members of the Chinese Labour Corps, civilians contracted in China and used on the Western Front for duties such as building roads and burying the dead.

The reality is shown by the segregation between the Chinese onlookers sitting on the grass on the hill behind, and the white troops seated in front of the stage. After the war, when the Chinese labour force was no longer needed, many were deported back to China as it was feared that they would take jobs away from soldiers returning home.

[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. Chinese entertain soldiers and nurses in France. A dragon dance.']

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About Dragon Mystic

I fell in love with dragons when I read Tea With the Black Dragon, and never looked back. Not the clunky winged Medieval dragons that ate cows, the graceful Asian dragons that could fly without wings. Later I discovered the elegant Welsh dragons, red and white, as described by R.J. Stewart in his books on the historical Merlin.
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