Home > Uncategorized > (Letter) Fakery Filled Closing Ceremoney A Fitting Finish

(Letter) Fakery Filled Closing Ceremoney A Fitting Finish

Just watched the closing ceremoney, allow me to head off any potential criticisms:

– During the flag raising the 56 fake ethinic children are now being faked by 56 grown ups (I’m sure those children didn’t grow up in 2 weeks.) No doubt they are all Han (except a close up on a woman who appears to be ethinic, possibly CGI enhanced?) And they were again fake singing, no doubt using 56 other people’s voices.

– The king of the drums was not flying, rather hanging on wires – just like the moon goddess during the opening ceremoney.

– The perfectly synchronized fireworks aerial must be CGI. No doubt about it.

– The entire dance number was pirated from Circ De Sole, down to those giant drums that didn’t make a sound when the soundtrack was misqued (no doubt the drum sound were from a different drum, how cruel it is to the unseen drum.)

Did I miss anything?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,
  1. snow
    August 25th, 2008 at 15:04 | #1

    I have to say something about the “faked minorities”:

    I grew up in China. I knew that when Han children or young people wore minority clothes during festivals it was commonly considered as something like wearing festive costume for a cultural make-up for the occasion. In our time no one would take it as “faked minority,” an act of cheating and an insult to the minority people as some in the West who has so perceived and argued recently. On the contrary, Han children or youth wearing minority clothes in festivals is often remembered as a time full of playful joy and a chance to show their interest in and respect for the minority people and culture. We were taught to respect all other minorities since we were little kids and took it naturally when we wore their clothes to represent their existence in the big family of China by such an innocent and playful pretending (as minority children were extremely small in number in big city schools).

  2. Chops
    August 25th, 2008 at 15:12 | #2

    “In true Chinese style, nothing had been overlooked. The national flag, carried solemnly by perfectly goosestepping soldiers, fluttered from the top of a flagpole courtesy of an artificial breeze driven by hidden fans.”

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/beijing_olympics/story/0,27313,24151395-5016791,00.html

  3. pug_ster
    August 25th, 2008 at 15:24 | #3

    It just remind me that in most action movie nowadays, they use fake CGI so that they can reduce the cost of the movie. While a few other people just want to watch the movie to look for those fake CGI effects, 99% of the people who watch it ignores the fact and actually wants to enjoy it.

  4. Hemulen
    August 25th, 2008 at 15:35 | #4

    @snow

    It is quite interesting that what concerns you is what Han Chinese purportedly think about themselves appropriating minority dress. What about the people from whom the dresses originiated? I can think of a variety of responses, both good and bad, depending on whom we are talking about. But the ruling nationality dressing up in the costumes of the subject peoples is nothing new at all. That doesn’t change the reality that it is an encounter between ruler and subject. Sure, I guess that you are thinking, “But China is not a colonial country.” Again, you might want to try to understand what it looks like when a purely Han Chinese dance troupe are dressed up as Tibetans and what not, while Beijing is being cleaned of real minorities.

  5. Nimrod
    August 25th, 2008 at 19:56 | #5

    Hemulen,

    What a strange way to finish an already bizarre post. Would you like to offer some solid proof, not speculation and rumor, that “Beijing is being cleaned of real minorities”?

    As for the indefensible thesis about “ruler” appropriating the culture of “subject”, I’d again warn against blindly projecting the Western colonial experience onto other people. The real objections people have for cultural appropriation is (1) if it is done in mocking fashion, or (2) it is done incorrectly and without proper understanding. Otherwise it is a positive to be more diverse and culturally aware. If you can show me how those dresses are wrong or worn wrong, or is somehow mocking minorities or in some other way inappropriate, apart from the risable notion that the people in the dresses are the “wrong” race, then you’d have a point.

  6. August 25th, 2008 at 21:21 | #6

    @Charles Liu – You could also point out the fake guitar playing, fake bus, fake hair etc.

    PS – I am not really qualified to criticise anyone’s spelling, but ‘ceremoney’ needs a bit of a spell check.

  7. my_mother
    August 25th, 2008 at 21:23 | #7

    Hey Charles,

    One thing that you forgot to mention among all them fakery is that, save for Uygurs, Kazakhs, the Iranian Tajiks (in general people of Turkic origin), and maybe a few Russians, most people in China look like the Han. What with all them slanted eyes, yellow skins, broad noses, flat faces, and what not.

    http://www.paulnoll.com/China/Minorities/China-Nationalities.html

    I am surprised that nobody has come out and make the accusation that the person representing the Han ethnicity is actually played by one of them other guys.

    Thought that it would have been funny (I mean funnier) if you included something about that last bit. Maybe an addendum? 🙂

  8. Hemulen
    August 25th, 2008 at 21:44 | #8

    @Nimrod

    “Beijing is being cleaned of real minorities”

    There have been widely reported in media that police have been told to send Tibetans and Uighurs home, and especially Uighurs have been barred from entering Beijing for the duration of the Olympics.

    I’d again warn against blindly projecting the Western colonial experience onto other people.

    What you are saying, in effect, is that Chinese treatment of minorities is not colonial because China is not a Western country. You are in good company.

    it is done incorrectly and without proper understanding.

    A real colonialist never needs any external validation of his behavior. As long as he or she has convinced him or herself that it is done with “good intentions” and that progress is being promoted, he or she can sleep soundly at night. What his colonial subjects may think is of no concern. Japanese imperialists convinced themselves that their policies in East Asia were to chase away Western imperialism and that they had no colonial intentions. They were completely taken aback when they found that their colonial subjects reacted with nationalism. That they objected to their national symbols being appropriated by the Japanese. In the eyes of Japanese, the Chinese and Koreans were ungrateful for all the money the Japanese government had spent on its colonial possessions. What more do they want? Only reactionaries, Western imperialists and terrorists could fail to see all the progress that the Japanese had promoted. Han Chinese chauvinists are just as blind to the national aspirations of the national minorities as any other colonialists.

  9. BMY
    August 26th, 2008 at 00:24 | #9

    @hemulen

    Some people seem never accept that different ethnic/race could live together in same country. Many (if not most) countries on this planet are colonial countries according to the logic you applied to China.

    Here again you bring up another insult(not constructive criticism) to compare with Japanese occupation in WWII.

    ZhangYiMou was blinded enough to allow the ethnic singers SongZuYing and WeWei to present the superior Han race and they were lucky enough not been cleaned out of Beijing. Or these two famous ladies got their birth certificates faked to hide their real Han identities.

    We all need try to open our mind

  10. BMY
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:09 | #10

    In the opening ceremony, I could tell ethnic Turkic dancers and ethnic Korea dancers (there are many professional ethnic dancers in China) performed in the minutes before the athletes walked in.

    During the closing ceremony, at least I saw one Turkic looking gentleman in the ethnic group. Because the camera moved over them too quickly, I wasn’t able to look at all of them. people could do a replay to find out. But most of the ethnic do look same with Han except ethnic groups like Turkic and ethnic Russian.

  11. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:28 | #11

    @BMY

    Some people seem never accept that different ethnic/race could live together in same country.

    I beg your pardon. Where did I say I was against multi-ethnic country? I would love to see the people of Tibet and Xinjiang as happy members of China. Yet these are two of the most troubled regions and for anyone who has been there, there is no doubt what nationality is in charge. Not a single party secretary of any stature in Tibet has been ethnic Tibetan. The last job of current part secretary Zhang Qingli was being in charge of the “Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps”. What does that tell you of the nature of Chinese rule in Tibet and Xinjiang? When was the last time Tibet had party secretary that was not Han and actually has any first hand experience of being a minority? Yes, there was one, Wu Jinghua, of Yi nationality, who served only three years and was scapegoated for the riots of 1988.

    Since the PRC incorporated Tibet, it has managed to alienate the entire Tibetan leadership, from moderate reformers to reactionaries. Tibetan leaders who stayed on after the rebellion 1959 were thanked by either being imprisoned or exiled in Beijing. To this day, the :PRC has been unable to nurture a native Tibetan leadership that can attract the allegiance of the Tibetan people, both in Tibet and outside. You can’t explain this away by talking about the influence old reactionary leadership of Tibet. It’s a total failure. The Chinese government has alienated the Tibetan people, who are being treated as colonial subjects. No Tibetan has been entrusted with the real leadership in Tibet for decades. The economy is in Han Chinese hands. The Tibetan language is not the major official language of the region. To merely show the picture of what some people consider to be the spiritual leader of Tibet is a criminal offense. I’m not even talking about independence here, just equity. If we do not object to this, as fellow human beings, what right do we have lecturing the Japanese on their past?

  12. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:38 | #12

    Hemulen, Hemulen, Hemulen, what the heck are you blabbering about in #8? Don’t go off the deep end… stay with me here:

    1. Uighurs and Tibetans cleaned out of Beijing: No, they are not. As you well know, migrants to cities often get checked for papers to show they can stay there. This can and does happen to any ordinary person on the street. A few Han schoolmates of mine got checked when they studied in Beijing and almost had to go home if it weren’t for their schools vouching for them. If they have the paperwork, they stay. If they don’t, they go home. It’s that simple. .I’ve only seen isolated reports that due to recent terrorism in Xinjiang, there is a bit of profiling in these checks. Profiling may be “politically incorrect” but please, people are not getting cleaned out of cities on the basis of ethnic group.

    2. I’m not at all saying the Chinese experience is not colonial because it’s not Western. I don’t believe in exceptionalism. I just don’t believe in universalism on this matter, either. I simply did not let you get away with passing off some Western colonial experience vis-a-vis cultural appropriation as proof of anything having to do with China. If you want to talk about China, then actually examine China. I don’t want to hear anything about Nazis or Japanese, that’s weak.

    3. I wasn’t talking about intentions at all, because what does wearing a minority dress have to do with colonial aspirations? It’s at best a sign of cultural acceptance and at worst a mocking farce. You just want to shove your favorite tune of China = imperialist suppressing minorities into every conversation. Unfortunately it’s not convincing anyone.

  13. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:43 | #13

    @BMY

    a bit of profiling

    Huge understatement. Ever been racially profiled yourself?

    If you want to talk about China, then actually examine China.

    I just did.

    what does wearing a minority dress have to do with colonial aspirations?

    Again, wearing minority dress is not my exhibit A when talking about PRC colonialism. You should be more familiar with my argument by now.

  14. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:46 | #14

    @Nimrod, not BMY

    Sorry ’bout that.

  15. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:55 | #15

    Hemulen #11,

    Please. If China had actually successfully nurtured a minority ruling class, you’d be saying they were all quislings and collaborators. I think BMY is right. In your guts, you do not accept that China is or can be a multiethnic country, a notion exactly like the one that those seeking independence want to instill in their nationalist diatribes. Therefore, any interaction between a majority ethnicity and a minority ethnicity will be branded as “colonialism”, regardless of how it actually is.

    China has certainly made many mistakes with regard to minorities, which we can all properly view in their historical contexts. Cultural Revolution is one. The minority affirmative action program which promotes what in America is called the “soft bigotry of low expectations” is another. Not separating political and cultural rights is yet another. It’s not one single thing that has caused failure of policy in Tibet and Southern Xinjiang, which I recognize. It’s certainly not colonialism that caused the problem, unless you are a separatist.

  16. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 01:59 | #16

    Hemulen #13,

    1. Yes. It can be very aggrevating and makes me angry, but I know what it is and my avenues of recourse. I stay on the right side of law, and I’m not a crybaby. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is you tried to pass that off as some urban ethnic cleansing in Beijing.

    2. Great. Do more of that and less ranting.

    3. Yeah, you were just using colonialism as exhibit A when talking about minority dress. Nice try, no dice.

  17. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 02:08 | #17

    @Nimrod

    If China had actually successfully nurtured a minority ruling class, you’d be saying they were all quislings and collaborators.

    Don’t turn the tables. “If.” But China hasn’t. And by default, an exiled monk is seen as the leader of Tibet. That is a huge failure, and you do not make the situation any better by imprisoning people who dare to show a picture of that monk. I will be happy to join you in criticizing the extremism of Tibetan nationalists when China is open enough to allow Tibetan leaders people that are so strong that Tibetan nationalists have to accuse them of being quisling to win the argument. But we are not there yet.

    China has certainly made many mistakes with regard to minorities, which we can all properly view in their historical contexts.

    Exactly how are “we”? Would it occur to you that these historical mistakes may be differently evaluated by Tibetan from Shigatse, and a Han Chinese from Dongping, Shadong (like Zhang Qingli)?

    It’s certainly not colonialism that caused the problem, unless you are a separatist.

    Well, who decides who a separatist? I’m sure a lot of Tibetans would be happy to remain part of China, if the central government ever deigned to listed to them. Anything that is not approved by the CCP is separatism as things are now. Apparently no one has the confidence to even allow a open discussion.

  18. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 02:11 | #18

    @Nimrod

    my avenues of recourse

    Are there any avenues of recourse against ethnic profiling in China? Please educate us, a lot of people would be interested to learn more about this.

  19. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 02:29 | #19

    Were all 56 ethnic groups actually represented by Han? If that’s the case, why? If a group of Tibetans could go to the top of Everest with the torch, why not have a Tibetan play a Tibetan in the ceremonies?

    Again, the self-conscious sarcasm is misplaced here. You could cross time-zones and centuries, and compare it to Shakespearean theater where pre-pubescent boys played the female roles (imagine that, the first Juliet was a dude). The difference comes back to the fact that when the audience knows the score, they can decide what degree of suspension of disbelief they will and will not accept. NOT the same as the event that triggered this little exercise.

    BTW, don’t disparage Cirque du Soleil. They’re way better than that.

  20. BMY
    August 26th, 2008 at 02:35 | #20

    @hemulen #11

    I agree with you about the political leadership equity which need be reconsidered and changed.

    Regarding the “economic equity ” I don’t see that has anything to do with ethnic. I am from north west region and the north part my province is just as undeveloped as every other western provinces include TAR. I also can say our own economy in the province is in the hands of the coastal Han by your logic. I am no economist to be able to analyse the whole east/west economic gap in China.

    another equity issue is the privileges like subsidiaries,tax deduction, none-one-child policy,lower uni entries etc the minorities have been enjoyed while my own Han race don’t have when we are in charge of everything. we all need try to see the two side of stories

    Again, we got dragged into Tibet topic

  21. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 02:51 | #21

    @BMY

    I don’t see that has anything to do with ethnic. I am from north west region and the north part my province is just as undeveloped as every other western provinces include TAR.

    “Just as undeveloped”. Are you not a bit unfair to the Japanese who built many of the industries that made the Northeast China’s rust belt? Anyway, your language is the language of government in your region. The governors of Heilongjiang have never had a problem talking to their constituents. And a few northeasterners have been able to enter national politics in China. Can you mention a single party secretary in Tibet with a passable proficiency in Tibetan? Can you mention a single Tibetan cadre that has been appointed ruler over a major Chinese city or region?

    another equity issue is the privileges like subsidiaries,tax deduction, none-one-child policy,lower uni entries etc the minorities have been enjoyed while my own Han race don’t have when we are in charge of everything.

    So incredibly noble. Did the Tibetans ask for that? What do you think the Tibetans would ask for if there was no fear of persecution? If they were allowed to articulate their political ambitions in their native language…

  22. Chops
    August 26th, 2008 at 03:22 | #22

    “(Xinhua) — Thunderstorms had threatened the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, but planes spreading rain dispersal materials were dispatched and rockets were fired to ensure that no rain fell during the ceremony, said Chinese weather officials.”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/25/content_9705578.htm

    Well, that should be cheaper than building a roof.

  23. BMY
    August 26th, 2008 at 03:28 | #23

    @hemulen,

    I agree with you about the in-equity of the political leadership as I said in my #20

    I said”I don’t see that has anything to do with ethnic. I am from north west region and the north part my province is just as undeveloped as every other western provinces include TAR.” which is about economic equity and you misunderstood and argued with political equity.

    “Did the Tibetans ask for that?” well, what can I say. people ask the same question whenever we are talking about the railway,the roads, the mobile phone network ,the internet ,the satellite TV etc I don’t know if none Tibetan ever asked for but you are so sure none of them did ask .

  24. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 03:41 | #24

    Hemulen wrote:

    Exactly how are “we”? Would it occur to you that these historical mistakes may be differently evaluated by Tibetan from Shigatse, and a Han Chinese from Dongping, Shadong (like Zhang Qingli)?

    +++++
    Yes, of course they may be evaluated differently, but why should one view automatically be more “right” than the other? Furthermore, I’m not Zhang Qingli nor a Tibetan separatist, so at least I try to be objective.

    Anyway, we’re talking about Han dressing up as minorities, so to respond to S.K. Cheung’s comment, no, it’s not necessarily the case that all 60 children (yes, there were 60, not 56) were Han. We simply don’t know. Anything contrary is pure racist speculation. The children were all part of a Beijing performing group. That performing group does not have some kind of ethnicity check. It just so happens they were selected to perform that part of the Opening Ceremony.

  25. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 04:04 | #25

    To Nimrod:
    my point was that, if you’re going to have a bunch of kids and a bunch of adults represent however many minorities were represented, then to me it would have been more poignant and meaningful to have actual members of those minorities present, rather than stand-ins, if that’s in fact what they were. But as you say, we don’t know.

  26. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 04:10 | #26

    To Nimrod:
    is there really such a thing as an “objective Chinese” when it comes to Tibet-China relationships? Just as I’m not sure there’s an “objective Tibetan” either. I would be curious what a truly “objective” position on that question would be, but to claim to be in possession of same seems a little self-righteous.

  27. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 04:30 | #27

    S.K. Cheung,

    I agree, it would be more poignant that way. It would also be more poignant if the whole thing was not a performance, and people ad-libbed from heart and improvised from their own creativity. But that’s not how things work.

    Let’s not get up in arms about this, as it appears to me not to be some sinister plot as some would imply. No, they didn’t “replace” minority children with “better” Hans. Total nonsense. And no, they didn’t “steal” minority culture for the sake of Han colonial domination. Total nonsense also. I don’t know where people get this stuff. There was just a prestigious performing group that is trained to perform. And 60 of them were asked to dress as the peoples of China in the performance. A better director’s choice could have been made for better effect but you work with the resources and time constraints you have — I’m sure they had a thousand other things to worry about than to find child performers from all 56 minorities.

    Also let me clarify that I’m sure they were stand-in’s. I just mean that some of the child performers could very well be minorities (maybe not the right ones) because there is no such thing as a pure Han troupe.

  28. Nimrod
    August 26th, 2008 at 04:42 | #28

    S.K. Cheung,

    I was just saying I don’t believe that my view is any less (or more) worthy than that of a Tibetan. On the question of Tibet, some people like to latch onto how (some) Tibetans view things, and take that as the ground truth, for instance, Woeser and what her Han husband Wang Lixiong has turned into. Well, excuse me if I don’t subscribe to that. I did say I try to be objective, and any such trial (for a Han Chinese) instantly fails if you go to the extreme of taking on the Tibetan view fully. The world is not so simple.

  29. Chops
    August 26th, 2008 at 05:59 | #29

    “Then came yesterday’s closing ceremony, and Britain’s eight-minute window of opportunity to invite the world to London 2012 as the breathless BBC commentators put it. And guess what? We blew it spectacularly.

    Amid the cast of thousands of thrillingly well-drilled Chinese dancers, acrobats, singers and fireworks technicians, a red, double-decker London bus chugged ominously into the bird’s nest stadium.

    There was some naff modern dance from British youngsters pretending to be standing at a bus stop, and a cute 10-year-old girl chosen by the viewers of Blue Peter appeared at the bus door to receive a football to deliver to David Beckham, who later kicked it into the crowd of massed athletes.

    How did he feel about this hardly challenging task, he was asked earlier.

    “It’s very proud for London, very proud for myself,” he replied inanely. What an archetypal British hero he is.

    In my time I’ve witnessed countless Royal Variety Performances and the opening ceremony of the Dome. This British fiasco was worse than any of them, and even at only eight minutes seemed interminable. No wonder London mayor Boris Johnson looked so uncomfortable beforehand. He must have known what was coming.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london2012/2614357/Beijing-Olympics-London-2012-handover-blow-to-British-pride.html

    Something typical in British press – uncensored self-criticism

  30. Hemulen
    August 26th, 2008 at 11:18 | #30

    @Nimrod

    Yes, of course they may be evaluated differently, but why should one view automatically be more “right” than the other? Furthermore, I’m not Zhang Qingli nor a Tibetan separatist, so at least I try to be objective.

    It is interesting to see how you substitute my “Tibetan from Shigatse” with “Tibetan separatist”.

    @BMY

    which is about economic equity and you misunderstood and argued with political equity.

    Well, economics starts with politics in China. You need contacts in government to prosper as a businessman, and when the government is run by Han Chinese, what do you think happens? When the government builds a railway to Lhasa and almost exclusively employs workers that are Han Chinese, that’s politics. It may be true that many outsiders have economic power in the Northeast, but I wager most of the workers in the factories are local. When the government makes proficiency in Mandarin a requirement for most good jobs in Tibet, that has a strongly detrimental effects on the job prospects of local Tibetans. I guess that a worker in Heilongjiang does not have to think about having to speak an alien language at work. Tibetans without residence permits are sent home from Beijing, but Han Chinese migrant workers coming on the Lhasa train are allowed to stay by the Han Chinese party secretary Zhang Qingli.

  31. BMY
    August 26th, 2008 at 13:15 | #31

    @hemulen

    Any railway projects have been owned and constructed by the railway department which dose not have sub departments in every province. The workers move around wherever the projects go. Tibet and my home county happened to not have those railway construction work units. When a railway was built cross my home county 12 years ago none of the railway construction workers were my home town folks. They were all outsiders and most of from other provinces. When the project finished , they left.

    For sure a heilongjiang worker dose not need to learn about mandarin because his mother’s tone is almost the same with mandarin. But a Cantonese or Shanghaiese person has to learn about mandarin for their career path. My children would never be able to speak my mother’s dialects because myself and my wife only be able to communicate with mandarin not each of ours dialects. Mandarin is a communication tool. However I agree Lhasa dialect together with mandarin both can be official language in TAR.

    “Tibetans without residence permits are sent home from Beijing”

    Are you talking about Olympics time? tens of thousands of Han(and other ) migrant workers were also sent home. I am not saying sending them home was a right thing I am saying it should not be seen with a ethnic lenses. If you are not saying the Olimpics time then you are not telling the truth as I know many Tibetans and Uygurs live in Beijing without residence permits .

    “Han Chinese migrant workers coming on the Lhasa train are allowed to stay by the Han Chinese party secretary Zhang Qingli.”

    Any Chinese cities are full of migrant workers and migrant business people.

  32. August 26th, 2008 at 16:37 | #32

    @BMY – Tibet’s problems are mostly found in other provinces, but, judging by all that we have heard and seen over the last few years, Tibetan people see these problems as arriving from the ‘outside’ in a way that people in other places do not.

  33. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 18:32 | #33

    To Nimrod #27 and #28:
    points taken.

  34. yo
    August 26th, 2008 at 19:01 | #34

    @skc,
    I would also like to add that for logistical reasons, it’s much easier, sort of like a movie. The message came across which is more important.

    Just for a clarification, in the London presentation, I know the female singer was lip syncing(by the way, I could careless 🙂 ), but some others were saying Jimmy Page was faking his performance, is that true, I didn’t pick that up?

  35. August 26th, 2008 at 19:39 | #35

    @Yo – All I can say is it sounded exactly the same as the album version.

  36. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 21:31 | #36

    To Yo and FOARP:
    I’m sure Leona Lewis was lip-synching, but it was to her own voice. And I think Jimmy Page was faking it, but it was to his own music. Having said that, I don’t think it was the same as the album, because Leona Lewis doesn’t have very many “inches of love” to give :-), so I think they changed the lyrics a bit.

  37. S.K. Cheung
    August 26th, 2008 at 21:40 | #37

    To BMY #31:
    I agree with your language assessment. It’s akin to English. No matter where you’re from, if you want to work on the international stage, you’re going to have to learn English. That’s just the way it goes. And if you want to be portable in China, you’re going to have to learn Mandarin. I think the important thing is that your native language and the official language be allowed to co-exist. That starts with the education system, but should extend to day-to-day lives. Hopefully, Tibetan-speaking regions have Tibetan-language TV as well as Mandarin shows. Hopefully, you can get government documents in Lhasa in Mandarin and Tibetan. And that’s not to suggest that Tibetan be considered an “official” language of China by the government; it’s just acknowledging that, if government business is conducted in a Tibetan-speaking region, you should be availing yourself to the people, rather than putting up linguistic barriers to the conduct of business.

  38. BMY
    August 27th, 2008 at 00:30 | #38

    @FOARP

    I agree with you #32 and totally understand some of Tibetans feelings. Tibet was relatively a isolated place before the railway then suddenly wave of new migrants came after the railway been built. It’s just human nature. Many Beijing and Cantonese complain the new migrants for driving the higher crime rate,higher house price etc. But to see these social problems with ethnic lenses would only get the situation worse as we’ve already seen.

  39. BMY
    August 27th, 2008 at 00:33 | #39

    @S.K.C #37 fully agree

  40. yo
    August 27th, 2008 at 03:13 | #40

    @SKC #37
    Interesting comments, but I would also add what FOARP alluded to in #32. IMO, the language challenge exists everywhere in China. Personally, I don’t have a clear cut vision of a solution, but it needs to be addressed. Knowing more than one language is very good. I mean, if you are in Tibet, and I’m just spit balling here, it should be Tibetan, Mandarin and English…a lofty goal perhaps. But as time goes by, I think Mandarin will become more and more important given globalization.

    “I’m sure Leona Lewis was lip-synching,but it was to her own voice”
    Even if Leona Lewis had been lip synching The Who’s “I won’t get fooled again” sung by Roger Daltrey, I’ll still watch her!

  41. S.K. Cheung
    August 27th, 2008 at 03:37 | #41

    To Yo:
    agreed. Never hurts to know more languages. In fact, what amazes me about Europeans is that many of them are proficient in multiple languages; contrast that with North Americans, many of whom can barely speak English properly. President Bush is one of them, which may or may not be funny depending on your perspective.

  42. Hemulen
    August 27th, 2008 at 22:27 | #42

    @BMY

    You don’t seem to get my argument here. The basic point is that in Tibet, the entire economical and political apparatus is run by outsider that do not speak the local language. Any expression of dissatisfaction on the part of the local population is punished severely, far more severely than in the rest of China. That situation is a colonial situation.

  43. BMY
    August 27th, 2008 at 23:21 | #43

    @hemulen,

    we are seeing things from different angle , That’s all

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.