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Let us sing together songs of honor and shame

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"Follow science" scene from the 8 Honors MTV.
Last week Beijing TV rolled out a snazzily-produced song-and-dance video based around Hu Jintao's latest cultural campaign, the "Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces." You can watch the video streamed from Sohu's site (media link), or download audio versions sung by kids', mixed adults', or women's choirs from the Sohu Socialist Values homepage linked below.

As a tool to teach listeners about socialist values, the song doesn't work too well - it just isn't that catchy, and it sounds like tons of other patriotic tunes. Fortunately, there's another song, "Everyone Should Know the Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces," sung by a PLA trio that reworks the ideas into more singable lyrics, asking "What is honor? What is disgrace?" against martial percussion.

Even better are a couple of children's chants that local schools are apparently using to enlighten their pupils on what it means to be a good citizen. There's a clapping song that goes something like this:

I clap one, you clap one, eight honors eight shames must be learned.
I clap two, you clap two, to help our country there's lots to do.
I clap three, you clap three, expose the waste for all to see.

And so forth. Anyone is welcome to translate the rest.

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Don't spend public funds on private vacations.
The other widespread kids' song recasts the eight pairs into kid's song that's more readily singable than Hu's original formulation. But that's not all - the New Socialist Values campaign is itself tied tied to songs. Neighborhood committees are writing and singing their own compositions, schoolchildren are composing rhymes, and the city of Beijing recently issued 550,000 free copies of a new book of kids' songs to the city's schools. Apart from the Eight Honors material, the books also have musical settings of the "Ten Civilized Actions for Middle and Primary Schoolchildren."

The reactions of those carrying different documetation has been, well, mixed. A People's Daily Online report about the attitudes of long-term foreign residents toward the campaign leads off with the adjectives "'interesting', 'necessary' and 'thought provoking'" - sentiments that can be taken in several different ways. Criticisms when the eight pairs of slogans first came out that the campaign implied the country's citizens were children seem redundant now. Playing off the news that Honor and Disgrace will play a role in cadre examinations, Danwei contributor Brendan O'Kane sees them as a set of ethical "hot or not?" choices for cadres in an off-site article.

In any event, any campaign that is able to produce this scene at a Zhengzhou train station ticket office has to have something going for it.

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There are currently 3 Comments for Let us sing together songs of honor and shame.

Comments on Let us sing together songs of honor and shame

Hey, guys. Nice web site you have.

I would like to comment on this subject and share my personal experience. After reading President Hu's "eight honors, eight disgraces" ("八荣八耻"), specifically this verse, "Live plainly, struggle hard; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures" ("以艰苦奋斗为荣 以骄奢淫逸为耻")
and I have done some soul-searching :), I have decided not to buy a Coach bag for myself. It's about $1,000 less in sales for that company which promotes luxury lifestyle. And I would consider donating the money to charities.

About brand names, I think brand names can show the quality of the products. And that is very useful for many people, including me. But increasing luxury-brand names has become more like a cultural thing. And the brand-name products a person uses truly represent him (or her), especially not their character.

I think those are (or close to) the Socialist's ideas. Man, I need to visit Massachusetts and Sweden.

at least everybody in the Zhengzhou train station is standing in a nice, orderly line. No 'line jumping' or 'arms reaching in' (at least from what I could see)

it is rather funny from the point of view of a normal person. but in China , it is too normal to understand indeed!]
personaly , I feel it rather disgusting!!!!!!!!!

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