Thursday, March 27, 2008

Censorship not only in China

We recently invited a Dutch couple with their 13 years old daughter home for a Sunday lunch. After eating, we let the girl watch the recent Oscar Cartoon Ratatoulli, and four of us had a nice talk. If you haven't seen this, I would suggest you watch it, if you also like cooking like me.

One thing struck me during the conversation was a story they told us when we were talking about the recent anti-Muslim film made by far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders. Mr. told us that several years ago, there was an affair happened in between two politicians found out by some people. I tried to Google this story, but couldn't find it. What is interesting to me is what happened next: Media came in, and later decided to cover it!

This doesn't sound right to me to happen in a country like the Netherlands. Isn't this self-censorship? I do not know what went on that time, and there might be some logic in that situation. I do feel that a free media is so important in preventing bad things happen in the society. Certainly I am for the social censorship that stops things like pornography in the media. But for political reasons, trying to hide things will always lead more troubles in later time.

This is also very true in our daily life. Be relaxed and open, hiding can take away a lot of unnecessary trouble in your daily life. My impression of my Chinese friends circle, is that many people being secretive. It lacks some degree of openness that make me feel free to interact with. In terms of this, I found similarities among Dutch people. I should try to attract some dutch audience to my blog, so that I can have some debate on this. If you feel that I am similarly secretive, let me know, and ask me what you want to know :-)

To make this post a little longer, here are some sentences of Chinese interpreted by a western blogger, quite right and interesting. (You can find even more in the link, and i just copy a few here.) It deserves some reflections.

1) You're a foreigner, you wouldn't understand

I'm Chinese and I don't understand either, but I'm not going to admit it

2) Because China has 5000 years of history

A) Because I can't think of a better reason right now
B) ..... Just because

3) Things are different here

I know that it's messed-up, but I'm too stubborn to admit it

4) In China people think.....

In China the government tells us to think.....

5) Do you have a Chinese girlfriend?

My cousin is ugly but of childbearing age

6) Tibet is an integral part of China

A) I can name you the leaders of every Chinese dynasty for the last 5000 years, but not one incarnation of the Dali-Lama
B) If you can have outposts all over the world, why shouldn't we.

7) Taiwan is an integral part of China

They said it on CCTV1, so it must be true

8) The situation in China is much better than it used to be

A) The situation in Beijing and Shanghai is much better than it used to be
B) .... unless you're a farmer

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