Our public parks are getting farcical too. Tai chi and chi kung have always been a quiet game in our public parks. People do tai chi elegantly in the open, fees are low and folks can just pop in. Easy come easy go, except for serious practitioners and sifu who insist on doing their art in the inner circle way (I shall talk about what I consider modern inner circle training in a later post). The way they do things in mainland China is sometimes quite different. People in China have a high tolerance to noise, some say a remnant of blasting loudspeakers in the heydays of the Cultural Revolution. Walking down a busy pedestrian street in any city of China during public holidays can convince overseas visitors that wearing a pair of nice ear plugs while shopping is not a bad idea at all! Some tai chi groups in local parks have picked up the habit, or more likely the habit has been brought in by teachers from the mainland, or trained in the mainland. No, they are not dancing. Steps are not following the music when doing tai chi forms. They just love the loud sound! And for that matter, chi kung and all kinds of schools of exercises/movements as well...all being accompanied by this or that kind of music. Fair to say, fortunately, they are still the minority.
As a final touch, one or two teachers are beginning to incorporate "yelling" into their training too. It is a fact that "voicing" is a training technique for some legit schools/lineages, but with due consideration to passers-by, and not to scare the kids, practitioners would reserve that part to their private practice at home. Not so nowadays. When people walk through Victoria Park (in Causeway Bay) on Sunday morning, the "lucky ones" will be woken up by some folks suddenly started yelling" HA, HA, HA, HA...". Having seen/heard that, I bet laughing yoga folks will come to Hong Kong pretty soon.