International piano competitions in USA are famous for the hospitality of their host families. Every video of the Van Cliburn competition shows the pianists lounging about in their hosts' palatial homes, practising on grand pianos, enjoying BBQs, sipping on pina coladas while lazing in swimming pools et cetera. Not so in Asia, where homes tend to be small, overcrowded, pokey, and most of all, messy.
However the Shenzhen International Piano Competition has taken upon itself to organise host families for the 40 or so pianists taking part. Given the increasing number of billionaires in modern China today, that certainly is a possibility in one of China's fastest growing cities. However, it is interesting to see the list of criteria below (from the competition's website, http://www.csipcc.com.cn/) which host families have to fulfill to in order to be eligible. Every word is as quoted in the webpage.
The requirements of a host family are as follows:
1. Have relatively few family members with a simple family structure.
2. Have enough bedrooms or guest rooms.
3. Own piano facilities and enough space for practicing. (For those who meet other conditions but lack of piano, the organizing committee may consider allocating piano facilities.)
4. Own a private car and have a fulltime accompanier who can communicate with the contestant in English or other foreign languages.
5. Well-educated without any criminal records or harmful habits.
6. Love music. Have good cross-cultural attitude and be familiar with western etiquettes and customs.
7. Warmhearted, serious and have the sense of responsibility. Be able to arrange the daily life of the contestant and would like to be the cheering squad. Be willing to guide the contestant to city sightseeing during spare time.
I particularly like criterion No.5, which means that I should preferably have a PhD, and not smoke, drink, spit, gamble, bribe minor bureaucrats, deal in counterfeit Guccis and Pradas, or run a bawdy house. In other words, I should preferably not get hauled up and be executed with a bullet to the head during the course of the competition. So Communist party officials should be barred from being hosts!
In an effort to be helpful, I forgot to mention: Homes should preferably have seat toilets rather than squatting toilets, and all pianists should be spared the indignity of depositing their used toilet paper in pails, as opposed to flushing them.