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Chinese school children forced to watch Olympics propaganda

Posted by Author on September 2, 2008

More than 170 million Chinese schoolchildren tuned into a compulsory two-hour propaganda broadcast designed to fill them with pride over the Olympics and China’s response to the Sichuan earthquake in May.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai, The Telegraph, UK, 01 Sep 2008-

On Monday evening, the first day of the new academic year, the Ministry of Education ordered all primary and middle school children to watch The First Lesson of the New Term, a brightly-lit variety show which skillfully weaved together China’s “Olympic spirit” and its fortitude in the face of disaster.

Parents were required to sign a chit to certify that their child had watched the spectacle.

The state media said the show would teach children practical lessons for “self-protection in such natural disasters as earthquakes, fire, snowstorm or floods”.

However, the effect of the show was rather to mythologise the strength and ingenuity of the Chinese.

Over the course of the show, Yao Ming, the basketball star, played a tug of war against one group of primary school children, while another troop competed with the Chinese weightlifting team to see who could evacuate the quickest through a pretend classroom door.

The children from the Sangzao middle school in Mianyang, close to the quake’s epicentre, won easily. The school was praised for having attained a time of one minute 36 seconds in a real-life evacuation drill.

Both the young girls, Lin Miaoke, 9, and Yang Peiyi, 7, who were involved in the lip-synching controversy during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games, appeared together on stage to sing.

Several schoolchildren from Sichuan were filmed watching happily from light blue school desks dotted around the studio as the set filled with rainbows and sunflowers. The children who perished in the crumbling middle schools in Dujiangyan were glossed over, however, as were the hundreds of orphans who still have to find a home…….. (more details from The Telegraph)

One Response to “Chinese school children forced to watch Olympics propaganda”

  1. clancop said

    I can tell you this story is slanted to say the least. I spent 10 months in Nantong, China teaching English at the college level and to say anyone forced to watch the Olympics is complete bull. The torch relay came through the city on its way to Shanghai and EVERYONE was out in the streets, shooting of fireworks, showing off their Beijing Olympics flags and T-shirts, etc

    It is nice to see this same old song and dance. I will admit though, it is better then the anti-Palin smears… In comparison, this is a breath of fresh air…

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