Friday, March 21, 2008

Sins-or-ring the Tea-bet Pro-tests

i was pretty curious about what a regular ol' Chinese person would think about the Tea-bet pro- tests, so i asked a Chinese gr1 teacher for her opinion on the subject at meal time yesterday. Her eyes got wide.

"Oh, i can't talk about it with foreigners!" she exclaimed.

"Oh, that's ok. i was just wondering what people thought about it since it's been getting so much attention in the international news," i said.

She then seemed to have forgotten her disclaimer and went on to answer any questions Heza and i had about it. It wasn't a super intense grilling but we learned that MsX was aware of the following:
  • that the China news differed greatly from the int'l coverage
  • that China and Tea bet numbers regarding cajualties differed greatly
  • that China is known to fudge the numbers
  • that internet and media is being tightly controlled, but that as of late more video clips have become accessible
  • that the Dolly Llama is known for encouraging peace, and not for inciting violins or unrest
  • and that therefore the Chinese gov't scoop re: the Dolly Llama and the pro tests are... bunk.
I found all this particularly interesting because i had no evidence to show that MsX was political in the slightest. i didn't even know if she ever watched the news. Forgive my tiny sample population, but i think her surprising amt of knowledge on the subject represents a LOT of Chinese folk.

In fact, any Chinese people with whom i've taken up a subject of anything controversial have shown themselves to be WAY more attuned to the truth than i would've expected. (Recall my cousin's hubby who commented "Chinese people aren't stupid, you know").

As for media con trolls:
cbc down
globe and mail down
Youtube down (which is a big pain in the bum when you use vid clips to help teach)

So that's a drag. but
BBC up
the Guardian up
NY times up

i understand that what's available in BJ could be different from what's available elsewhere, but still, i don't know what the hell kind of clampdown they call that.


aischmidt said...

i find your little poll very interesting; the media is largely presenting a polarized/polarizing version of the events.

statusq said...

Well there's no doubt that the media takes are polarized, but i think it's largely ingrained in the Chinese psyche that people will say whatever it takes to SAVE FACE.

It's likely that The Truth of the situation is somewhere in between either media interpretation.