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Report 4 - October 1, 1999
50th anniversary of the PRC

Can you imagine what's on China Central Television 8 right now? A serial on Mao Zedong. This new Mao (actor Tang Guoqiang) has become very famous among Kunming's laowai (foreigners), his hair being extraordinarily high! By now we could only see the story of Mao's first wife (killed by the Kuomingtang) and the War of Korea (1950)... but we are eager to know whether this kind of programs will depict the years of the Great Leap Forward, not to mention the Great Cultural Revolution, and how they will dare depict those years. The signature tune of Mao's serial is one of the most hilarious thing we've ever seen, with Zhongguo dajiuxing (China's saviour) crying, drinking spirit like a real nanzi han (real man) and... wearing the Dalai Lama's tiara! Words fail us.
CCTV 8 is the so called "movie channel", so this is the kind of propagandist programs you can see on it. CCTV 1 is also engaged in a 24-hour a day propagandist marathon, but what it shows is mainly real, historical materials on the first years of Communist China (better, on the mass celebrations of those years), along with interviews with old cadres, all of them evoking the old songs and slogans of "New China".
Zuguo song (Ode to motherland) is also an omnipresent program, with famous singers and hundreds of dancers celebrating the glory of the People's Republic. The costumes of these guys are often soldier uniforms and workman clothes. Right now on air, a song called Mei you Gongchangdang, mei you xin Zhongguo (Without the Communist Party there can be no new China).

Kunming is also hosting a series of celebrative shows. A few days ago Kunming Sport Hall hosted national minorities dances - actually a patriotic show. It seems like national minorities, and not the han people, are the real protagonist of this year's celebrations: it's a clear attempt to stress the harmony of Chinese society since 1949. Weren't the Tibetans liberated by the Chinese as soon as year 1950 (click here for more info)? This kind of propagandist policy dates back to the very foundation of the PRC, and it's still apparent nowadays. What do the Chinese think about this patriotic revival?

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