Joy and sorrow of monkey trainers
Updated: 2014-10-21 15:51
A man trains monkeys in Xinye county, Henan province, Oct 13, 2014. [Photo/CFP]
Even worse is that sometimes the monkeys are confiscated. Yang said his seven monkeys were confiscated by police during a performance at a railway station in Chengdu in 2000. "Seven monkeys equal two years' income. I begged for food and illegally rode on a freight train to return hometown finally."
Audience's attitudes are also changing. Bao Qingshan remembers that in 2011 in Xi'an, he was performing a trick in which he slams his whip on the ground and the money starts 'crying' in pain. Many in the audience started shouting that he was being too cruel and was abusing the animal. Some of them called police and he was driven away.
"The beating of the monkey was fake. They were too angry to find the truth," he said.
The monkey show in Xinye was included into "Henan provincial intangible cultural heritage" in 2009. To make the show sustainable, the local authority wants the show to be transferred to scenic spots or zoos or to be transformed through cooperation with advertisement companies.
Many trainers said they do not want their children to carry on the trade. Besides the toil and unstable income, the stigma is another important reason. They hope their children will study hard and become "decent" people.
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