• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Chinese Censorship and Tour Guides

    Yesterday, my family had a little get-together with some relatives to celebrate my brother's return from Italy. As talk moved to everyone's recent travels (Vietnam, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, China, Korea, and the Philippines), my aunt recounted her favorite times in China--the Great Wall and the Terracotta warriors.
    Did you know he had concubines?

    Then the topic turned to Mao.

    The tour guide happily explained about Chairman Mao and all the great and wonderful things he did for China. Then he said, "he had a wife and a couple kids and was a great family man."

    "Did you know he had concubines?" my cousin, fleunt in Mandarin and who graduated with a degree in Asian Studies, queried.

    "No, that is not true," retorted the tour guide. "I have never heard such things."

    "Oh but it is," she responded. "He had over one hundred concubines, and stopped brushing his teeth about 20 years before he died."

    The tour guide's eyes widened. "Really? What more about Mao have we not been told?"
    They don't have weapons now but watch out

    My cousin proceeded to explain a few points to him. My aunt, relating the story, then said,

    "Everywhere we went, we stood in long lines of tourists. With capitalism, China is embracing tourism, and where tourists go, people talk. Eventually, the aggregate sum of these encounters will lead to something big. Shanghai is an amazing city. In my opinion, it's more amazing than New York City. But you go 10 miles outside of Shanghai and people have mud floors in their huts. Right now, the government controls the media, but eventually this knowledge will spread, and you will have millions of angry citizens. They don't have weapons now, but watch out. It'll be big."

    1 comment:

    Thuy said...

    I completely agree with your cousin, China is the country to watch out for. There was a PBS special about China and their control of the media and Interenet in their country. What do you expect from a Communist country?
    Oh, yeah, someday I will post something about Vietnamese men having 'mistresses'. Keep an eye out for it. :)