Surrounded by fellow members, all waiting for the moment.

Upper arms straight down.

Forearms extended and perfectly horizontal.

Hands directly opposed and firmly posed, waiting to clap in short, almost nervous bursts of communal rhythm, backing up, off, and touching again, always the mirror image of the other. Wait for it... wait for it... here it comes...


And that, mes enfants, is how the Chinese Communist Party members clap. It's quite a sight, and my Mandarin teacher loved showing us it. So now you know. And knowing's half the battle.

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