We've had some brilliant blue-sky days lately and when such days happen, we're not the only ones who venture outdoors to enjoy the weather. One way to enjoy the great outdoors Chinese-style is to buy yourself a tent and set up shop in a park for the day.
What you have to bear in mind is that most average Chinese families share their apartments with their parents, in-laws or some relative and most families will be lucky to have more than one bedroom. This in turn does not leave them with much space to relax or have some privacy at home. So these days, setting up a tent for the day is a great way to solve those issues and give everyone some much needed downtime.
I actually love seeing families spend time together outdoors. The grandparents must love it as well as they can finally stay home and have some peace and quiet for a time. Mondays to Fridays they are looking after grandchildren and on the weekends feel like they have to spend time with their own kids as well. My Chinese friends tell me that it's very difficult to come home and relax after a long day at work when their parents live with them. The biggest complaint is privacy due to lack of space, second is that they don't have much say in how their household is run.
So for now, when you visit some of China's big cities and see tents in public parks, it may look weird but you'll totally understand what the people are trying to do ;o)