Living Small: Welcome to the Kingdom of the Little People

There’s all sorts of tourist attractions out there such as: amusement parks, zoos and museums. But what about a city of dwarves?

Welcome to the Kingdom of the Little People, a human zoo, founded in 2009 by a wealthy real estate investor, Chen Mingjing in the Yunnan province of China (Kunming).

The theme park employs over a hundred people affected by dwarfism willing to entertain in the hopes to help build tourism.

Mandatory Credit: Sanne De Wilde
Mandatory Credit: Sanne De Wilde

While at the Kingdom of the Little People a.k.a. Dwarf Village, a visitor can catch different dancing & singing performances, tug of war, tight rope, amongst other circus-like performances. Oh yeah, and they’ll witness a lot of little people.

It showcases a fake, hill-top village of fantasy-esque miniature homes where the little people pretend to live out their lives.

However, the little people do live together, but not at the park. They’ll bunk in small dorm-like rooms built for smaller people that many of the performers find comforting.

Unfortunately, many of them had been victims of harassment and being made fun of, but while working at the theme park, they can spend much of their time with people affected by the same condition.

Of course, with such a concept comes a lot of controversy.

Many individuals and organizations like Little People of America, Handicap International and Warwick Davis (an English actor with dwarfism) have spoken out against the Kingdom of the Little People for being unethical and making light of such a debilitating condition.

Nevertheless, advocates of the fantasy theme park will argue that it helps employ people that may otherwise have a hard time finding work. In fact, Mingjing apparently offers English lessons to their employees to help interact with foreigners. But, I think we can guess that the English lessons are in place to benefit the business and not necessarily for necessity.

According to owner Mingjing, there’s only three requirements to work there: 1) no infectious diseases, 2) no one older than fifty and 3) no one taller than four-foot-three.