Posts Tagged ‘CCTV’

So, it was crackers..oops!

February 11, 2009

Regarding Monday’s fire, where the newly built, not-yet populated, 40 story Mandarin Oriental went up in flames, Central China Television(CCTV) has reputedly apologised for causing it. Without authorisation they had hired people to set off firecrackers for the start of the new Lunar Year celebrations. The CCTV building co-incidentally, is next door. One fireman was killed in the blaze, with seven others injured.

Way to go CCTV!

Happy New Year!

January 26, 2009

Today is Chinese New Year, the most important of all Chinese holidays.  Beginning on the first day of the first lunar month, the festival continues until 15th, this day being known as Lantern Festival.  New Year and the Spring Festival are big business in China.  It is a time where families reunite – resulting in huge people migration across the country.  Migrant workers return home from the cities, and even overseas Chinese return to celebrate with their families.  For many in the country, it can be the only chance to see their family for the entire year, what with so many parents working hundreds of miles away with their children raised by grandparents. 

A typical scene outside Wuxi Train Station as thousands return home for New Year.

A typical scene outside Shanghai Train Station as thousands return home for New Year.

We have had many emails from our former students in the last couple of days, detailing how they will spend their holiday from school.  Most of them are excited at the thought of going home, and being given presents and money in red envelopes by their family.  As is the way with any Chinese festivity, families enjoy a celebratory dinner accompanied by either dumplings (jiaozi – which symbolise wealth due to their shape) or new year cake (niangao). 

Possibly the highlight though is the New Years Gala which is broadcast on CCTV – the mind can only boggle at the wonderment that must be felt watching such a spectacle. 

We were really looking forward to experiencing Chinese New Year, with our hope being to spend the time in Shanghai.  Our second day in China was Lantern Festival day, unfortunately we hadn’t yet found our feet enough to venture into the city for the festivities.  Sadly though, we will have to watch from a distance this year with the hope of being in China again in the future.

Workers decorating outside the Birds Nest

Workers decorating outside the Birds Nest

Young girls practicing a dance in earthquake affected Sichuan Province.

Young girls practicing a dance in earthquake affected Sichuan Province.

This year celebrates the Year of the Ox.  The Ox symbolises a year of prosperity through hardwork.  It is a powerful sign, showing leadership, dependability and patience.  However, this year is expected to be one of conservatism and traditional values, which probably reflects the current financial state of the world.


I have no doubt we’ll be able to hear the fireworks from here tonight.  And with that – Happy New Year everyone!

Bringing you a positive look at the negative, always.

January 13, 2009

Today in the news it was reported that a group of Chinese intellectuals and lawyers signed a letter of complaint claiming;

China’s Central Television (CCTV) has turned its news and historical drama series into propaganda to brainwash its audience.

Well one thing is for sure, those 20 people can expect the warm hospitality of a Chinese re-education camp in the very near future.

Anyone who has spent time in China would notice the very poor quality of its television broadcasts. Being an english speaker I can only comment on the one english channel, CCTV9 however it was obvious from day 1 that the quality of news article being shown were quite obviously propaganda. Never was there a negative article on China and always, as the article mentioned, foreign stories always had a negative vibe to them. The news would be on TV several times a day and over a 30 minute period would often show an average of 3 articles total. There would generally be at least one based on China – something completely insignifigant, like farmers buying extra quantities of ducklings this season – leading into the inevitable handful of stories about some remote part of Pakistan – or China’s foreign minister visiting Kazikstan.

Never was anything of actual importance reported, and never were stories on China negative. If you lived in a world where you only watched Chinese TV as your source of information, you wouldn’t in fact know anything at all. The only time we really saw anything of note was during the Sichuan earthquake where it was covered quite extensively. Here they could easily portray the common enemy as the earthquake, singing praise to the heroic Chinese rescuers. Rarely if ever was it mentioned that a mulitude of foreign countries offered money and manpower to aid what truly was a disaster.

Of course during the Olympics, almost daily we saw the torch relays both in China and around the world, but never did we see anything of the international protests. The Chinese are extremely patriotic as a people, and it truly is no wonder when they can’t even get proper information about their day to day current affairs. The letter of protest couldn’t even be posted within China – it had to be put up on an American website. Real change in this country is going to be a slow and painful process. They can build cities in a day, but the Chinese people are slowly going to awaken. Or are they? They have lived for almost 5000 years under similar circumstances. Perhaps this issue is only important to foreigners looking in from the outside.

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