March 5, 2010

Dwarf Theme Park (VIDEO)

A Dwarf theme park in China is drawing both admiration and scorn, as people question whether it is a great opportunity for these people, or a demeaning exploitation.

The theme park employs about 100 dwarfs, who otherwise would have a very hard time finding regular employment.

But the job, getting to work in a theme park where they are put on display as dwarfs to perform for visitors, is seen as degrading by some advocates for little people.

Said one advocate "I think it is horrible," speaking on behalf of a dwarfism support group based in California. "What is the difference between it and a zoo?"

But it is pointed out that the theme park is constantly flooded with applications, showing there are very few opportunities for disabled or handicapped people, including dwarfs, to support themselves in China.

Dwarf Theme Park

Is any employment, no matter how low-paying and potentially degrading, better than no job at all? This question often comes up with regard to sweatshop labor in poor countries. But it also applies to an odd new theme park in Kunming, China, where tourists "watch dozens of dwarfs in pink tutus perform a slapstick version of 'Swan Lake' along with other skits." From a New York Times article: "One hundred permanently employed dwarfs, they contend, is better than 100 dwarfs scrounging for odd jobs. They insist that the audiences who see the dwarfs sing, dance and perform comic routines leave impressed by their skills and courage."

Dwarf Theme Park (VIDEO)

Posted at March 5, 2010 3:31 AM