Saturday, March 1, 2008

Love for Mao

My friend Ann took that photo in a flea market in Beijing. Interesting subject... and quite shocking to see that there was a time when even self-criticism (as you can see with 2 of these little sculptures) was the subject of decorative ceramics. Well, I don't think that Chinese people care anymore about Mao. I have not heard one Chinese person mention his name. Not surprising...I am sure they got an overdose of him for years. But Mao is in the flea markets today... for the pleasure of tourists. The fact is that when I saw this photo I immediately thought "I got to get some memorabilia of Mao before I leave". So Friday came, day of the flea market in Xiamen, and I was there - with Ann as my guide - ready for some serious hunting! Indeed we found some other examples of ceramics portraying Mao and his famous Red Book... and yes, I now own a 70s-style little alarm clock, with of course the portray of Mao, and a worker with a moving hand holding... the Red Book. I will bring home a piece of China history!.. Well, Chinese people may not care about Mao anymore, but they are happy that we, the tourists do. How could they have ever believed they could actually make money on all that old Mao stuff?! The love for Mao is not dead, indeed!

6 comments:

John said...

I have one of those in the living room!

dale said...

Hi - I'm coming to china for my first visit in May - I've learned a lot by reading your Blog - it's really great!! I am now going to find Empress Orchid book to read before I get there. Look forward to more postings

Christine said...

Hello John,
Yep... I am sure they are a lot of those out there... they probably mass produce them, or at least recycle old clocks with this front, because my clock looks terrible and old in the back. They are really good if they managed to fake this. In any case, it is still a fun memory of my stay here. Tell me where you found yours!
Christine

Christine said...

Hello Dale,
I am really glad you're having fun reading my blog. I am working hard at making it interesting. I think you will enjoy Empress Orchid. Where will you be in China? in Beijing? Let me know if you have questions I could answer.

dale said...

(I see I should have posted my comment under the Forbidden City - oh well) .... I'm going to be in Xian (to see the Terra Cotta Soldiers), Chengdu (to see the Panda Preserve) and of course, Bejing (to see as much as I can - hoping to go to a remote section of the Great Wall rather than where 90% of the tourists go). .. Just got my copy of Empress Orchid today and will start reading - my trip is in less than 60 days (arrive May 5 for two weeks) - looking forward to it! ... BTW - your China Sea adventure sounds exiciting as well.

Christine said...

Hello Dale,
I agree with you, trying to go to a different part of the Great Wall. Our friends in Beijing have told us they are 2 places to see the Wall from Beijing, and yes, the one which is a little farther is more interesting. Also from looking at different photos, I think you need the energy to climb the wall as high as you can (if it is a part where they are hills) to get as broad a view of it as you can. I have to say we personally were somewhat disappointed by the wall. But it was not the best time of the year (December) to see it either, it is probably nicer when nature is all green... no smog would be nice as well. I hope you will tell me about your trip!