Thursday, January 10, 2008

From "Lost in Beijng" seeing a nation in lost

Just in the beginning of the new year, China announced that it banned the movie "Lost in Beijing". The uncut movie is available online for download. We did it and watched it today. (sorry to the producers, but the ban really created our curiosity to take a look.)

It is said to be a brothel film in BBC news, since most foot
massage parlor in China more or less hide some kind of sex trade behind the scene. The story is about a young married migrant lady named Apple, works in the foot massage. Her husband, An Kun, is a spiderman who cleans the high-rise buildings' glass walls every day. Once one of Apple's friends hurt her customer because that guy attempted to offend her in the foot massage process, she got fired. Apple accompanied her to eat and got drunk. She returned to the parlor drunk and slept. The boss of the parlor raped her. In a dramatic twist,, her husband was cleaning the building outside and saw her being raped.

The rest of the story tells how these two couples, Apple and her husband An Kun, and the owner of the Parlor Lin and his wife, respond to this issue. Apple wanted to keep her job and Lin wanted to fire her. So she threatened Lin that she would report him sexual harassment if he fire her. This way, she kept her job.

Her husband, An Kun, although mad, his first reaction was asking for money, 20,000 yuan other wise going to the court. When he failed to meet with Lin, he went to Lin's wife. She suggested him that she knew her husband could do but there is no way he could win the lawsuit. An Kun slept with her, symbolically giving Lin back a ‘green hat’ which means infidelity in China. Soon, Apple was found to be pregnant. Lin wanted a baby and thought it was his. An Kun thus asked for more money. Lin's wife also signed a contract with Lin that if they divorce she would get half of his property. The baby was born, An Kun got the money at the cost of his own baby. Lin was happy being a 'father', while his wife felt the risk of a breaking relationship. An Kun finally kidnapped his own son, and Apple and Lin's wife both left Lin. The last scene of the movie, the two men were pushing an engine-failed Benz in the busy street of Beijing, painfully.

The story is nothing new, in my understanding of today's China. Things like this happen all over China, in the fast growing economy. People feel this is a development sign. I am extremely sad about it. Right close to the end of 2007, the Beijing TV news reporter jumped on the stage in a public media event to report his husband's infidelity in front of the media, while her husband was right there side by side on the stage. The unfaithful relationship is so common that people are more and more tolerant. Our neighbor in my hometown helped their son to take care of their grandson till the boy was five years old, and found out their son was not the grandson's real father... what a crazy world! What is going on, and what went wrong?

'Morally corrupt' is the exact word in describing today's China. When money is above all ethics, and money can buy everything in the society, there is nothing called moral any more. I do not believe all couples in China are unfaithful to each other and would divorce for their self interest. But the tolerance of the society is such a sad phenomenon, it is totally corrupt. I remember divorce used to be a taboo twenty years ago. People will be left alone if there was a divorce case. But now, they are everywhere. They are among my friends, my relatives, and my colleagues. They are so close in your life that you sometimes feel hard to breathe.

I think most Chinese would agree with me that an ideal relationship is permanent. So my friends, and whoever read the blog, please, try your best to achieve permanence in your relationship. I remember a Master card commercial, saying :"There are things in the world that money can not buy. For the rest of it, master card." Money is not everything in your life. There is no unsolvable problems in your relationship if you have seriously thought and are committed. Marry a person you love, not for money. If a family can not stay harmony, how can a country do?

In our wedding, the broom circled seven rounds around the groom. I finally found out what the meanings of those, so I pasted below:

Let us take the first steps to provide for our household
a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious
to healthy living. Let us take the second step to develop physical,
mental and spiritual powers. Let us take the third step,
to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge,
happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust.
Let us take the fifth step, so that we be blessed with strong,
virtuous and heroic children. Let us take the sixth step,
for self-restraint and longevity. Finally, let us take the
seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong
partners by this wedlock."

"We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter,
I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me. Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, united.
You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us;
may the morning be honey-sweet for us;
may the earth be honey-sweet for us and the heavens
be honey-sweet for us. May the plants be honey-sweet for us;
may the sun be all honey for us;
may the cows yield us honey-sweet milk.
As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable,
as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable,
so may our unions be permanently settled."

PS: The picture is from "the Kiss" by Gustav Klimt, the famous Austrian painter.

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