Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, September 27, 2010

National Day 

Construction continues in the park. Last minute preparations for the October First holiday. October First is National Day in China. You could call it China's "Independence Day," but that's not what they call it here.

In China, it's mainly just a holiday. There isn't a lot of patriotic music in China. But more than that, even though many Chinese people love their country, they don't have the same emotional feeling about 1949 that Americans have about 1776. Americans regard 1776 as the birth of their country. But no one in China would allow you to say that China is only 61 years old. And while the regime change a half-century ago did bring a measure of stability, it also brought a lot of pain. So people just don't have the same sentimental feeling about it that Americans feel. That doesn't mean that Chinese people are not sentimental about their country. I encounter a range of sentiments, actually. Some are quite disgusted with the way things are, some hopeful, and some philosophical. But even those who are very into being Chinese do not tend to associate that feeling with the First of October. October First celebrates a party taking power, not the birth of a country.

That being said, the mood in China is generally positive. The fact that China has enjoyed almost a generation of unbroken economic growth probably has a lot to do with that.

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