Archive for the Holidays in China Category

People’s Daily celebrates workers on May Day [Xinhua]

Posted in China, CPC, Employment, Holidays in China, Labor, Trade unions on May 1, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) — The People’s Daily will carry a long article on Friday, International Workers Day, detailing how the Communist Party of China cares for the working class.

The CPC Central Committee has always cared for the working class and attaches great importance to labor unions and workers’ lives, according to the article in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

President Xi Jinping has stressed many times in his speeches that the entire country may rely wholeheartedly on the working class and uphold the idea that hard work is the most honorable, noblest, greatest and most beautiful virtue, the documentary said.

Xi said only through honest work can people realize their dreams and solve the difficulties that arise in the course of development, according to the commentary.

A total of 2,968 model workers were recognized at a ceremony attended by the nation’s top leaders on Tuesday, when Xi promised to protect workers’ interests, increase their wages and realize the Chinese Dream through the concrete results of their tireless endeavors.

The last time model workers were honored in this way was 36 years ago…after the Cultural Revolution.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Xi described the working class and “the broadest masses of the people”, as the fundamental force behind economic growth and the basis of social stability.

Xi has often met and talked with workers during his inspections trips, highlighting their role in the country’s development and urging the government to improve their standard of living.

Xi learned from his work in the countryside at a young age that labor is an important key to tempering work style and keeping close relations with the mass, said the article in the People’ Daily.

Xi also highlighted the importance of labor unions, demanding stronger labor unions to better connect common workers and the CPC.

Editor: yan

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link:

2015 March 8, Int’l Women’s Day – World leaders must recommit to gender equality []

Posted in Beijing, China, Holidays in China on March 8, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

March 8, 2015

If we look at the headlines or the latest horrifying YouTube clip, today – International Women’s Day – may seem a bad time to celebrate equality for women. But alongside the stories of extraordinary atrocities and everyday violence lies another reality, one where more girls are in school and more are earning qualifications than ever before; where maternal mortality is at an all-time low; where more women are in leadership positions, and where women are increasingly standing up, speaking out and demanding action.

Twenty years ago this September, thousands of delegates left the historic Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing on a high. The overwhelming feeling was that women had won a great victory. We had indeed – 189 world leaders had committed their countries to an extraordinary platform for action, with ambitious but realistic promises in key areas and a roadmap for getting there.

If countries had lived up to all those promises, we would be seeing a lot more progress in equality today than the modest gains in some areas we are currently celebrating. We would be talking about equality for women across the board – and we might be talking about a saner, more evenly prosperous, more sustainably peaceful world.

Looking today at the slow and patchy progress towards equality, it seems that we were madly ambitious to expect to wipe out in 20 years a regime of gender inequality and outright oppression that had lasted in some cases for thousands of years.

Then again – was it really so much to ask? What sort of world is it that condemns half its population to second-class status at best and outright slavery at worst? How much would it really cost to unlock the potential of the world’s women? And how much could have been gained! If world leaders really saw the Beijing platform for action as an investment in their countries’ future, why didn’t they follow through?

Some women are taking a seat at the top table. There were 12 female heads of state or government in 1990, and 19 in 2015. But the rest are men. Eight out of every 10 parliamentarians worldwide are still men…

The writer is UN Women executive director [sic].

Excerpted; full article link:

China Voice: No need to poop China’s Christmas party [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Holidays in China on December 27, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — The jingling bells of China’s Christmas celebrations bring little cheer to some diehard proponents of traditional culture.

As young Chinese swarmed to shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants on Christmas Eve, some were “celebrating” Christmas by watching traditional cultural films — a college of the Northwest University in Shaanxi Province reportedly used this trick to keep its students from celebrating Christmas.

In the eastern city of Wenzhou, schools and kindergartens were banned from holding Christmas activities. A local official said schools should not obsess over Western festivals at the expense of Chinese ones.

There is a rising enthusiasm for traditional culture of late. Grand ceremonies were held across China this year to mark the anniversary of Confucius, parents have pushed their children to recite ancient Chinese classics and experts have called for the classics to be listed as a required course for students.

The debates over Christmas, however, reveal certain anxieties behind China’s cultural ambitions. Some critics associate Christmas with a public obsession for anything Western, while others lament the “shipwreck” of Chinese culture.

For Chinese Christmas fans, the logic is simple: Like Valentine’s Day, Christmas is just a merry time to shop, party and exchange gifts. Non-Christian Chinese associate Christmas more with the “Old Man of Christmas”, Santa Claus, than any Christian theology.

One reason for the growing popularity of Western festivals here, particularly among the young, is that they offer an excuse to be with friends and lovers, while traditional festivals are more family-centered, celebrated with family get-togethers and feasts.

There is no need to pit Western festivals against Chinese: Chinese Christmas revelers will still number among the hundreds of millions who travel home for the Lunar New Year family reunion.

That said, what Chinese festivals can learn from Christmas fever is how to build up their appeal. There are Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween movies but few such pop-culture biproducts [sic] exist for Chinese festivals, except for some festive foods.

Even the mooncake and other traditional sweets are evolving to suit low-calorie [sic] modern life, as will traditional festivals, but evolution lies in confidently facing up to cultural imports. Barring them from joining the game is no fun.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link:

Xi urges socialist values for children [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Holidays in China on June 6, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 29, 2014

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for fostering socialist values among children while sending greetings ahead of…International Children’s Day…

Excerpted; full photo article link:

2014 1 May: International Labor Day Greetings from Sweet & Sour Socialism blog! 祝你们劳动节快乐!

Posted in China, Holidays in China, Mao Zedong, May 1 on May 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

社会主义制度的建立给我们开辟了一条到达理想境界的道路,而理想境界的实现还要靠我们的辛勤劳动。 —— 毛泽东 [ “五一劳动节的名言名句”]

English translation of preceding Mao Zedong quote:

“The establishment of our socialist system has opened the road leading to the ideal society of the future, but to translate this ideal into reality needs hard work.” – [‘The Chairman and I’ – Chairman Mao quotes]

Have a great holiday!!!

Zuo Shuo / Sweet & Sour Socialism Blog

Dragon Boat Festival Poem – “Encountering Sorrow” (Li Sao) by Qu Yuan [Sweet & Sour Socialism Poetry]

Posted in China, Holidays in China on June 12, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

“…’Encountering Sorrow’ is [the] rare first specimen from early China of the long narrative poem…the traditional attribution of this poem [is] to Qu Yuan, a minister whose loyalty to the king of Qu remained steadfast through slander, rejection and banishment. Sima Qian records his suicide, in protest and despair, by drowning in the river Mi-lo; it is this event which is commemorated in later centuries (and into modern times) in the annual Dragon Boat Festival…”

[From “Anthology of Chinese Literature, Volume I: From Early Times to the Fourteenth Century”, edited by Cyril Birch (New York: Grove Press, 1965), 49-50. © 1965 Grove Press.]


poem translated by Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang

A prince am I of ancestry renowned,
Illustrious name my royal sire hath found.
When Sirius did in spring its light display,
A child was born, and Tiger marked the day.
When first upon my face my lord’s eye glanced,
For me auspicious names he straight advanced,
Denoting that in me Heaven’s marks divine
Should with the virtues of the earth combine.

With lavished innate qualities indued,
By art and skill my talents I renewed;
Angelic herbs and sweet selineas too,
And orchids late that by the water grew,
I wove for ornament; till creeping Time,
Like water flowing, stole away my prime.
Magnolias of the glade I plucked at dawn,
At eve beside the stream took winter-thorn.
Without delay the sun and moon sped fast,
In swift succession spring and autumn passed;
The fallen flowers lay scattered on the ground,
The dusk might fall before my dream was found.

Had I not loved my prime and spurned the vile,
Why should I not have changed my former style?
My chariot drawn by steeds of race divine
I urged; to guide the king my sole design.

Three ancient kings there were so pure and true
That round them every fragrant flower grew;
Cassia and pepper of the mountain-side
With melilotus white in clusters vied.
Two monarchs then, who high renown received,
Followed the kingly way, their goal achieved.
Two princes proud by lust their reign abused,
Sought easier path, and their own steps confused.
The faction for illict pleasure longed;
Dreadful their way where hidden perils thronged.
Danger against myself could not appal,
But feared I lest my sovereign’s sceptre fall.

Forward and back I hastened in my quest,
Followed the former kings, and took no rest.
The prince my true integrity defamed,
Gave ear to slander, high his anger flamed;
Integrity I knew could not avail,
Yet still endured; my lord I would not fail.
Celestial spheres my witness be on high,
I strove but for his sacred majesty.
Twas first to me he gave his plighted word,
But soon repenting other counsel heard.
For me departure could arouse no pain;
I grieved to see his royal purpose vain.

Nine fields of orchids at one time I grew,
For melilot a hundred acres too,
And fifty acres for the azalea bright,
The rumex fragrant and the lichen white.
I longed to see them yielding blossoms rare,
And thought in season due the spoil to share.
I did not grieve to see them die away,
But grieved because midst weeds they did decay.

Insatiable in lust and greediness
The faction strove, and tired not of excess;
Themselves condoning, others they’d decry,
And steep their hearts in envious jealousy.

Insatiably they seized what they desired,
It was not that to which my heart aspired.
As old age unrelenting hurried near,
Lest my fair name should fail was all my fear.
Dew from magnolia leaves I drank at dawn,
At eve for food were aster petals borne;
And loving thus the simple and the fair,
How should I for my sallow features care?
With gathered vines I strung valeria white,
And mixed with blue wistaria petals bright,
And melilotus matched with cassia sweet,
With ivy green and tendrils long to meet.
Life I adapted to the ancient way,
Leaving the manners of the present day;
Thus unconforming to the modern age,
The path I followed of a bygone sage.

Long did I sigh and wipe away my tears,
To see my people bowed by griefs and fears.
Though I my gifts enhanced and curbed my pride,
At morn they’d mock me, would at eve deride;
First cursed that I angelica should wear,
Then cursed me for my melilotus fair.
But since my heart did love such purity,
I’d not regret a thousand deaths to die.

I marvel at the folly of the king,
So heedless of his people’s suffering.
They envied me my mothlike eyebrows fine,
And so my name his damsels did malign.
Truly to craft alone their praise they paid,
The square in measuring they disobeyed;
The use of common rules they held debased;
With confidence their crooked lines they traced.

In sadness plunged and sunk in deepest gloom,
Alone I drove on to my dreary doom.
In exile rather would I meet my end,
Than to the baseness of their ways descend.
Remote the eagle spurns the common range,
Nor deigns since time began its way to change;
A circle fits not with a square design;
Their different ways could not be merged with mine.
Yet still my heart I checked and curbed my pride,
Their blame endured and their reproach beside.
To die for righteousness alone I sought,
For this was what the ancient sages taught.

I failed my former errors to discern;
I tarried long, but now I would return.
My steeds I wheeled back to their former way,
Lest all too long down the wrong path I stray.
On orchid-covered bank I loosed my steed,
And let him gallop by the flow’ry mead
At will. Rejected now and in disgrace,
I would retire to cultivate my grace.
With cress leaves green my simple gown I made,
With lilies white my rustic garb did braid.
Why should I grieve to go unrecognised,
Since in my heart fragrance was truly prized?
My headdress then high-pinnacled I raised,
Lengthened my pendents, where bright jewels blazed.
Others may smirch their fragrance and bright hues,
My innocence is proof against abuse.
Oft I looked back, gazed to the distance still,
Longed in the wilderness to roam at will.
Splendid my ornaments together vied,
With all the fragrance of the flowers beside;
All men had pleasures in their various ways,
My pleasure was to cultivate my grace.
I would not change, though they my body rend;
How could my heart be wrested from its end?

My handmaid fair, with countenance demure,
Entreated me allegiance to abjure:
“A hero perished in the plain ill-starred,
Where pigmies stayed their plumage to discard.
Why lovest thou thy grace and purity,
Alone dost hold thy splendid virtue high?
Lentils and weeds the prince’s chamber fill:
Why holdest thou aloof with stubborn will?
Thou canst not one by one the crowd persuade,
And who the purpose of our heart hath weighed?
Faction and strife the world hath ever loved;
Heeding me not, why standest thou removed?”

I sought th’ancestral voice to ease my woe.
Alas, how one so proud could sink so low!
To barbarous south I went across the stream;
Before the ancient I began my theme:
“With odes divine there came a monarch’s son,
Whose revels unrestrained were never done;
In antics wild, to coming perils blind,
He fought his brother, and his sway declined.
The royal archer, in his wanton chase
For foxes huge, his kingdom did disgrace.
Such wantonness predicts no happy end;
His queen was stolen by his loyal friend.
The traitor’s son, clad in prodigious might,
In incest sinned and cared not what was right.
He revelled all his days, forgetting all;
His head at last in treachery did fall.
And then the prince, who counsels disobeyed,
Did court disaster, and his kingdom fade.
A prince his sage in burning cauldrons tossed;
His glorious dynasty ere long was lost.

“But stern and pious was their ancient sire,
And his successor too did faith inspire;
Exalted were the wise, the able used,
The rule was kept and never was abused.
The august heaven, with unbiassed grace,
All men discerns, and helps the virtuous race;
Sagacious princes through their virtuous deed
The earth inherit, and their reigns succeed.
The past I probed, the future so to scan,
And found these rules that guide the life of man:
A man unjust in deed who would engage?
Whom should men take as guide except the sage?
In mortal dangers death I have defied,
Yet could look back, and cast regret aside.
Who strove, their tool’s defects accounting nought,
Like ancient sages were to cauldrons brought.”
Thus I despaired, my face with sad tears marred,
Mourning with bitterness my years ill-starred;
And melilotus leaves I took to stem
The tears that streamed down to my garment’s hem.
Soiling my gown, to plead my case I kneeled;
Th’ancestral voice the path to me revealed…

…Since in that kingdom all my virtue spurn,
Why should I for the royal city yearn?
Wide though the world, no wisdom can be found.
I’ll seek the stream where once the sage was drowned.

Full poem translation at:

David Hawkes’ translation is much better, but I am not able to reproduce that here at this time. Please see the PDF document from Columbia University, “E X C E R P T S F R O M ‘ENCOUNTERING SORROW’ (LI SAO) By Qu Yuan”

Also, see Wikipedia’s informative entry on the poem here:

Economic disparity worsens children’s growing pains in China [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Economy, Education, Employment, Holidays in China, Income gap, Uncategorized on June 1, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Xinhua writers Zhou Yan, Pan Qiang and Li Meijuan (Xinhua)
May 31, 2013



As the world’s second-largest economy prepares to celebrate Children’s Day, many adults are recalling the good old days of growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, when few families were rich but children were probably happier.

Today, however, “a happy, carefree” childhood seems out of reach for city and rural children alike.

In 10 years, city kids like Wei Yufan will probably be studying at a university in Beijing, eyeing well-paid jobs in big companies.

By then, Luo Tingxi may have become a skilled worker on a factory assembly line or in a coal pit. He might also be married with two children.

If the economic disparity is not lifted by then, growing pains will persist for those on both sides.

While city children fight pains inflicted by demanding parents, rural children’s pains often reflect the fast-growing, unbalanced economy, which could backfire and hamper further economic growth, warned Liu Fuxiang, deputy education chief in Yanchuan County of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

“The yawning rural-urban income gap has worsened disparity in many other sectors, like education, in particular,” he said.

Rural children, he said, perform far worse than their urban peers on major tests these days, but not because they are not clever or diligent. “They are victims of an unbalanced allocation of teaching resources.”

The rapid urbanization drive has drawn an influx of rural workers to cities and boomtowns, where more schools have been built. “Many rural schools in remote, sparsely-populated villages were closed down and children from several villages have to share one school,” said Liu.

As many migrants have taken their school-aged children with them to cities, most village schools in the underdeveloped areas of Yanchuan County are more like daycare centers for left-behind children, orphans and handicapped children, he said.

Troubled by insufficient funding and teachers, it is also hard for these schools to offer many subjects. “Some schools only teach reading and arithmetic. Gym class is all about frolicking and running around,” said Liu. “Many children just wait for the nine years of compulsory education to end soon so they can take a job in the city.”

The consequences of the disparity could be severe, as poverty could twist the youngsters’ value systems. “The children are our future,” he said. “Our future will be gloomy if they are not educated properly.”

“Children in poverty tend to admire the material abundance in cities and even worship money,” said Yang Yuansong, a rural school teacher known for “Left-behind Children’s Diaries,” a collection of tear-stained diary entries written by rural children whose parents work in faraway cities.

“When young migrants in their village return home with fashionable clothing and stylish haircuts, their value system changes and they long to see the wide world for themselves instead of concentrating on their schoolwork.”

Yang said reminding them of the importance of learning and keeping their dreams alive is essential. But often, their parents are not home and schools do not have enough teachers to offer them the proper guidance.

Ding Xueqian, a rural school teacher in Gansu Province and a deputy to the local parliament, has called for more funding from the central and provincial treasuries to boost education in remote rural areas.

“It’s important to train adequate teachers and build safer classrooms for countryside schools,” he said. “By narrowing the gap between rural and urban education, we can expect to provide quality education to rural students and reverse the widespread prejudice that ‘going to school is useless.'”

Full article link: