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Chairman Mao is like Jesus to us

Posted By Alan Baumler On 5/23/2006 @ 10:42 am In General,Identity,Maoist era (1949-1976),visual culture | Comments Disabled

Not really related to anything, but I found it interesting. Chinese students in New Zealand have been protesting this image of Chairman Mao from a student newspaper

Mao

I suspect that the protests have as much to do with recent anti-Chinese incidents mentioned in the story, as well as other things published recently in the paper as with the image. I was a bit surprised to see Mao being the thing that touched so many students off. Not real surprised, of course, since Mao’s reputation in China has always been quite different than that in the West. One student said that. “Chairman Mao is like Jesus to us” Mao of course is not the first Chinese revolutionary leader to be compared to Jesus. Sun Yat-sen compared himself to Jesus on his deathbed. For lots of non-Chinese Mao is the Chinese Jesus, i.e. an iconic figure who stands for “China” even for those who know nothing else about the place. Apparently at least in this context some Chinese students agree.

Via Volokh


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