Saturday, August 15, 2009

Party Mode

Even before the first anniversary of the Beijing Olympics, Chinese television was already out in force promoting the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, or "new China" as they like to call it.

On television screens in buses and subways, China Central Television (CCTV) features a female singer decked out in a flowing white ballgown, hair swept up and dolled up with dangling sparkling earrings, red lipstick and long black lashes she bats a lot.

And in between her warbling on about the country and its achievements, there are images of people trying to recreate the propaganda socialist images of the 1950s with the ruddy cheeks, red scarves around their necks and standing at attention towards the flaming red sun.

The best part in the more than five-minute segment is the symbol of the Chinese Communist Party, the hammer and sickle that is cast in red hot iron and then it flies through the sky with everyone looking above and pointing at it or smiling broadly.

There are also pictures of Chinese soldiers rescuing people in Sichuan, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, and the recent space mission where astronaut Zhai Zhigang did China's first space walk, waving a small Chinese flag to the nation.

All these images are supposed to make everyone proud of their country and its 60 years' of development.

However, when I was watching this "show" last night and previous times, it seems no one is really paying attention to it.

Unlike the Olympics when the Chinese were swelling with pride of hosting the international sporting event for the first time, now people seem indifferent. They are seeing more and more cases of corrupt officials being caught, the economy not picking up even though the government keeps releasing statistics that seem too good to be true, and there aren't enough jobs to keep people busy.

So while the government is trying hard to play up its 60th birthday, the people seem to be wondering, what's in it for me?

No comments: