Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sometimes you're nothing but meat

       Image by Priscilla.

MAO ZEDONG'S MANTRA — "Sacrifice one family, save 10,000 familes" — is seared into Wang Yangxi's memory. Like the Chinese emperors before him, Chairman Mao was obsessed with taming the Yellow River, the life-giving force whose changes of course also unleashed devastating floods, earning it the enduring sobriquet "China's Sorrow." When, in 1957, construction began on the massive dam at Sanmenxia, on the river's middle section, 400,000 people — including Wang — lost their homes. Mao's slogan convinced them it was a noble sacrifice. "We were proud to help the national cause," says Wang, now 83. "We've had nothing but misery ever since."
         (Larmer, Brook.  "Bitter Waters."  National Geographic 213.5  (2008):  159.)

Perhaps the Chinese Culture Chauvinists (CCC) should make an addition to their vocabulary (besides its sole entry, "cultural pride"):  "backlash."

Further reading:
Who says it's hard to learn Chinese?

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