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Topical Words

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If most of us were asked to compile a list of topical words then: consumerism and imperialism, would probably be near the top? I suspect so, here are two topical llustrations of those words.

There’s another example of Chinese imperialism in Tibet, according to The Times:

“Thousands of Tibetans have travelled for days and hundreds of miles to pitch their tents on the slopes surrounding the festival grounds in a remote corner of western Qinghai province, which ethnically is majority Tibetan. Strings of pink, blue, green and yellow prayer flags flutter in the breeze as spectators stand in banks five or six deep for a glimpse of the dances. They unfurl umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun blazing through the thin air in this corner of the Roof of the World, about 3,800 metres (12,500ft) above sea level.

The only cloud over the picnickers, riders, dancers and visitors dressed in their finest is the order to wear furs. Entertainers who ignore it face being fined their appearance money of 3,000 yuan (£200), a huge sum for a Tibetan farmer.

The question of whether to wear traditional fur was sparked by the Dalai Lama last year. He told Tibetans who gathered for a Buddhist festival that he was ashamed of photographs showing his people dressed in robes decorated with tiger skins and other animal pelts. Within days people across the Himalayan region began to set alight mounds of fur-trimmed chubas.

Chinese officials were furious. The display of obedience by ordinary Tibetans to the Buddhist monk, exiled in India since fleeing amid an abortive anti-Chinese uprising in 1959, shocked the authorities, denting their increasing confidence about having established control over the restive region.

The Communist rulers are swift to respond to displays of loyalty to the Nobel peace laureate. His picture is banned. Officials accuse him of seeking independence for his homeland under the pretence of autonomy.

China’s response to his order was not without irony. Officials had been pursuing a policy of trying to discourage Tibetans from wearing their traditional dress as a way of stemming the trade in skins. But the priority for authorities in Yushu county was to counter the Dalai Lama. So they told locals that they must wear skins.


You can’t beat the Chinese bureaucracy for pettiness.

As for consumerism, I mostly like Tesco’s, but I was interested by this particular site, Tescopoly and worker’s rights.

Written by modernityblog

09/08/2007 at 00:14

Posted in Uncategorized

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