Beijing 2006 - Pets for sale (2) by Marjolein Katsma

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Share this page Photo © 2006 Marjolein Katsma | Text © 2012 Marjolein Katsma

Tags for this photograph:
pets, for sale, crickets, sound, singing, beijing, china, sound of beijing, hutong, intact, video

Part of the Beijing 2006 – The hutong series; see my same-named journal post for a bit of background.

See the location on a satellite map (Google’s street map doesn’t register with the satellite view!)

On the edge of a hutong (this one still largely intact), I found this chair. It drew my attention by the peculiar sound it emitted – or rather, the sound emitted by the inhabitants of the little bamboo cages as I found out when taking a close look. Their ‘owner’, curiously, was nowhere to be seen (having a cup of tea at the little cafe nearby?) but it was obvious the little creatures were for sale, and kept as pets. Only later did I find hutong houses with a little cage above a door or a window, with one of them, singing and singing.


Their sound became to me “the sound of Beijing” – the Beijing of the intact hutong (somehow I cannot imagine this sound in modern high-rise flats), but I cannot believe all of that has gone now… I was intrigued enough by this sound that I made a short video to record and share it:

Originally, in 2006, I could find very little information on crickets as pets in China. I tried again now and found much more (possibly I’ve just become better at searching…), so here are some of the best references I found (the last link is a search where you may find even more, though not all is equally relevant or reliable):

Camera: Fuji Finepix F30



pets, for sale, crickets, sound, singing, beijing, china, sound of beijing, hutong, intact, video

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I have two passions: travel and photography – and these are often combined. Though even in my own city I often have a camera with me!

When I am not actually taking photographs or working on photographs, you may find me busy programming or otherwise working on my websites.

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  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    Beautiful close-up.

  • Thank you again for your comment and the fave, Maree!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Ethna Gillespie
    Ethna Gillespieover 2 years ago

    Great! He’s reaching out to you.

  • Heehee, he might have been! But they were all moving around their little cages. Thanks for the faves for these, Ethna!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Georgie Hart
    Georgie Hartover 2 years ago

    Wow crickets as pets, I don’t think I’ve heard that one before… fascinating capture and video Marjolein (it was the great shapes of the baskets/cages that first drew me in)!

  • I had no idea at all in 2006 when I took these photos and the video, and in fact I could find very little information. Thinking about that, I just tried and found much more, so I’ve now added some references to the description. This is something that goes back thousands of years! But although I’ve found descriptions and examples of all sorts of containers, tubes, boxes and baskets used to house crickets, I’ve found no mention of these ingenious bamboo cages. Maybe these crickets are freshly caught in the countryside and the cages are only temporary housing – but that is mere speculation.
    Thanks for your nice comment, Georgie!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    9 Feb 2012
    Congratulations Marjolein, your image will be displayed on our home page for a week and has been placed in our permanent POTW gallery.
    Cheers, Maree xx

  • Thank you so much, Maree! This is quite an honor and I really appreciate it!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • JohnDSmith
    JohnDSmithover 2 years ago

    That`s just awesome,……so interesting,….

  • Thanks for your great comment, John, and for the fave too!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 2 years ago

    Congratulations on your POTW award in The World! Absolutely fascinating photos and information!

  • Thank you so much Celeste! I’m glad I could provide some fascination. ;)

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Too fast – saw this only on the next page: thank you for the favorite, too!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Kris Montgomery
    Kris Montgomeryover 2 years ago

    Terrific image Marjolein! Congrats on your POTW award :)

  • Glad to hear you like this, Kris! Thank you very much.

    – Marjolein Katsma

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