SJYA diary: August 11 & 18 1938

Days 6 and 7 of Yenta Kleiman’s  Shanghai Jewish Youth Association summer club diary (days 4 & 5 can be found here):

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SJYA Cantonese Dinner menu (front cover), August 1938
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SJYA Cantonese Dinner menu inside sleeve. Entertainment includes ‘Song with Chin (Chinese Harp). Accompaniment by Miss Buttercup Li.

11 August 1938: Cantonese Dinner

A bowl of rice, and several tasty dishes to accompany it, is really an inspiring dish, and I am sure all present thought so, as the chopsticks clicked and the bowls were constantly refilled. I consider Chinese chow most savoury as compared with European food, and I am sure many would agree with me, had they been party to our Chinese dinner.

A looker-on would have said that the scene that presented itself to him reminded him of Orient; and why not? Real Chinese singing with Chin (harp) accompaniment – or the popular Woo Chen (fiddle) put into use – the tropical sun and palm trees – Chinese Dinner – isn’t it an ideal scene of the Far East?

(After Dinner)

The S.J.Y.A. Dramatic Association developed into something great. First of all, it increased in number, and also its programme is on a larger scale. Formerly, the act they produced was short, this time it was pretty long, and I thought the actors did marvellously well, considering that they has so short a period to rehearse in.

Books of tickets for the Fun Fair were distributed to S.J.Y.A. Club members and their little brothers and sisters at home. Only seven days more and the eminent FUN FAIR will take place. Hurrah! Three hearty cheers for the coming FUN FAIR! Hip, Hip …

18 August 1938: Fun Fair

SJYA Summer Club 1938 x2 photo
Pillow fight at the SJYA fun fair, August 1938

Even a writer would have been a failure to describe the happiness, gaiety, jollity and good-fellowship which prevailed, so I guess I will be a complete one. But just the same I will attempt and perhaps will be so fortunate as to produce a tiny fraction of what I would like to have written.

Never before was Shanghai Jewish School so crowded. The young and old came, and both thoroughly enjoyed themselves – the former trying their luck at different fun stalls and the latter watching their sons and daughters, grand-sons and grand-daughters.

The cats were being knocked off the wall (Cat on Wall); the windows being smashed (Smash the window); ugly faces were being properly smacked (Aunt Sally); fish were being caught (Fishing); profiles were being silhouetted (Silhouette); coconuts were being won (Coconut Shy); roller skates, torches, watches and dolls were being houped (Houp La); pillow duels were being fought (Pillow Fight); AND WHAT NOT!

While some rode the donkeys, others were piloting the aeroplanes. Whereas there was a ring of eager children around the “Ski Board”, a still bigger one surrounded the “Dart Board” and so on.

Two radios were in full blast. In one corner old Fatima, the gipsy, told fortune. The Ice Cream, Sweets and Restaurant stalls were kept extremely busy “valuating the tickets”, etc. etc.

Every participant carried off 4 prizes at least, and some made away with very much more.

“Wonderful” is not the word for it!”

One thought on “SJYA diary: August 11 & 18 1938

  1. Pingback: SJYA diary: final entry (no date) – A Borrowed Place

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