?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

In Memory of June 4, 1989

weather: mostly sunny
outside: 15.1°C
mood: solemn
民族之光 (3.3M, MP3)

Artist: 陳松齡 (Nadia Chan)
Composer: 顧嘉輝
Lyricist: 鄭國江


同尋中國新方向!

From this post:

Where was I when the People's Liberation Army opened fire on the students and civilians at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989?

At the exact time it happened, I was probably in bed, sleeping. There's a 16 hour time difference.

I was old enough to know what was going on, but still too young to really understand the weight of the events. Half the students at my school were Chinese, so we all wore white shirts, black pants and black arm bands in the days and weeks after the incident. Part of it was the cool and belonging factor, but I was also cognizant that this wasn't just any fad because my parents jumped on board right away and helped me get an arm band.


Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
bokane
Jun. 4th, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC)
民族 is 'democracy?'
bride
Jun. 4th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
Oops, here's me being lazy about mín zú versus mín zhǔ. I go fix.
bokane
Jun. 4th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Ah - yeah; wasn't sure if it was one of those Southern 毛病s or if that just happened to be the official English title.
The latest version of the MS Pinyin IME has Southern Accent Compensation™ (though I don't think they call it that). I played around with it a few times, and damn if it didn't do a fine job of converting z- to zh- and -n to -ng.

Oh - apologies if I've asked you this before, but my summer project for myself is to get at least a phrasebook level of competency in Cantonese. You wouldn't happen to know of any resources for this, would you? I've got a copy of Y.R. Chao's Cantonese Primer from my school library, on the recommendation of my old professor, but it doesn't come with audio recordings, and I've never been able to retain IPA for more than 5 minutes at a time.
bride
Jun. 4th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
For Cantonese pronunciation, I always go to this site (have I mentioned this to you yet?). It's in Big5 encoding though. You stick in the character, hit the button and it serves up the WAV file.

Other than that, I don't use books or anything, so I couldn't really help there.
bokane
Jun. 4th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
Excellent -- thanks.
science_vixen
Jun. 4th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
Wow 16 years since Tiananmen Square already.

1989 Was a busy year between China and the fall of the Berlin wall on October 10th.
science_vixen
Jun. 4th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Correction, the Wall was on november 10th
Mea Culpa.
bride
Jun. 4th, 2005 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'll say. Which reminds me, I should go add these to my Where was I when X happened? post...
science_vixen
Jun. 4th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
I remember both quite well.

I remember wondering how the Chinese Government could continue like they were doing if the students, inevitably their successors, were so opposed to them.

I remember the Berlin Wall even more clkearly as I was in berlin when it fell. I couldn't come close though.
bride
Jun. 4th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
I remember wondering how the Chinese Government could continue like they were doing if the students, inevitably their successors, were so opposed to them.

I'd heard that line of reasoning too. And I agree that it's insane to be killing your nation's young like that.

But when you think about it, that argument only makes sense in a democratic selection process where (supposedly) any arbitrary person can get elected to office by the support of the people.

Remember that China is _not_ a democracy (which is what the whole thing is about in the first place). They hand pick their successors. The pro-democracy protesters would never be chosen to succeed to power anyway. As many protesters as there were, there will be many many more people that can be chosen and groomed as successors.

It also assumes that all students in China think that Western style government is the way to go, which I don't think is the case. You'll note that I didn't say "democracy" in this case. I'm not 100% convinced that the West has a democracy either.
science_vixen
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:39 am (UTC)
Well, I was 17 at the time, and had a slightly more naive and idealistic view of the world.

'The West' is is off course not a good way to differtiate.
The Netherlands (where Ihave) has a different type of democracy from the US.
Both of us have a parlementary democracy, where the people are elected to vote of the real decissions.
Here this is by direct vote, in the US en the UK this is done through the district system.
This means that in the Netherlands a lot of parties can be elected in the senat (which is the case), whil in the US and the UK, only 2 parties have any chance of getting into the senate.
It also means that you can become president of the US with only 23% of the cast votes.

I don't think there has been a true democracy since ancient Athens.
axiem
Jun. 5th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC)
Actually, as I recall, "Democracy" was seen as a bad thing by the Greeks, because of the problem of mob rule. (For a mildly interesting take on this, see the segment "Land of Majority Rule" in the episode "Three Men Along The Rails" (#5) from Kino's Journey (Kino no Tabi))

Part of the reasoning behind the representative government set forth by the framers of the American Constitution was to avoid mob rule and the "tyranny of the majority".

Fwiw, America is not a Parlimentary democracy. We are a Presidential democracy--the UK, however, is Parlimentary.

There are multiple reasons why America tends to stick to a 2-party system, though it tends more to be because of the lack of runoff than anything else (that is, it is a winner-take-all system).

And I'll also point out that the popular votes for President actually aren't what elect the president: it's the votes cast by the Electoral college, which in some states follows the popular vote, but not all of them. And a person cannot be president without a majority of the electoral votes--it just so happens that because of this, a president can be elected without a majority of the popular votes (such as Bill Clinton).
(Deleted comment)
science_vixen
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
Public oppinion and public ignorance are both powerfull things. I don't think much has changed since Orson Welles made 'Citizen Kane'
(Deleted comment)
bride
Jun. 5th, 2005 04:01 am (UTC)
Yeah. They would have been very young then. You'd have to be in an environment where everyone is talking about it and is active in the community about it to really remember it. In contrast, ask anyone our age from Hong Kong, for instance, and they should at least remember the tribute concerts... because all the celebs were out in full force.

The PRC kids, their parents would be either shielding them from hearing/reading about it or downplaying it because a child blathering about political news could get the entire family in serious shit.

Considering that China would be covering up that type of thing, I'd actually be surprised if they knew.
astral
Jun. 5th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
very young? i'm quite sure people my age know about it..they would have been nine then?

must ask china colleagues tommorow...
bride
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, around 10, give or take. That's quite young and it's an age where they can still be easily swayed to think one way or another.
axiem
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:31 am (UTC)
I was 5 at the time, so I honestly have no clue.

As well, my history books generally would get far enough to talk about Iran-Contra under Reagan (sometime in the early 80s), and then kind of not really say anything else.

In other words, I honestly don't know the full impact or reasoning behind the whole thing. Happen to have any good resources I could check out to learn more?
bride
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 on Wiki is a pretty good start.
axiem
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:52 am (UTC)
...and to think I'm pretty good about searching on Wikipedia when I don't know stuff -.-

I think part of it is that it's just really hard for me to concieve of living under a totalitarian regime of any kind. Having lived in America my entire life, it just seems totally foreign (though I will concede that there are parts of the American government that definitely impose too much on its citizens).

Of course, I have the same sort of feeling whenever people talk about the Cold War: the Berlin Wall fell when I was 5. For the entirity of my life (at least, that of it that I remember), America has been *the* superpower.

I realize that my view is definitely America-centric. After all, I've lived here my entire life. So it is sometimes difficult to see things from a different point of view, because that point of view is so...foreign to me.

Though, I do suppose that this is one side effect of American history books not really talking much about things outside of America.

I definitely look forward more now to taking the "East Asian History" course I need to for my East Asian studies minor. Though I have a decent idea of Japan's history, I'm horribly ignorant when it comes to China. (Then again, I've focused on Japan, and I'm horrible at history...)
bride
Jun. 5th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
It's definitely difficult to see things other than what you've known all your life. This is why exchange programs and living/studying abroad are a wonderful idea.
axiem
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I just don't have the time/money to participate myself.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

eLouai
bride
The Bride of the First House

Latest Month

March 2015
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031