China’s Dwarf Empire, Where Little People Are Big.
China, Home to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Kingdom of Little People. Huh?
Yep, in southwest China, there’s a place called Dwarf Empire where people with dwarfism gather to live, work, and play. Some of them say they can make more money there than any other place. Oh, there’s just one other thing. The Kingdom of Little People is a theme park where people pay to see dwarfs perform and often gawk and laugh at them.
Shows include everything from hip-hop dances to dozens of dwarfs in pink tutus performing a slapstick version of “Swan Lake.” One of their star attractions is the “Dwarf King,” who stands three-foot-three and cruises around the park on his motorcycle wearing a gold silk cape. This is no Disneyland!
Critics, including the Little People of America, contend the Dwarf Empire is nothing more than a zoo that exploits people with dwarfism. Others have called on the Chinese government to shut it down, but so far, it’s fallen on deaf ears.
The wealthy real estate investor who owns the park counters that he provides employment for many who would otherwise be unemployed. Many who work there have said that they enjoy living with other short people and feel less lonely at the park.
Whatever one thinks of the Kingdom of Little People – it may not be there long. When an American TV station recently visited the park, there were more performers than customers.
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