Apr. 26th, 2008

frandroid: The letter "L" followed by Mao's face, making the LMAO acronym. (mao)
China ready to discuss Tibet

But the decision to talk also reveals a "dilemma" the Chinese Communist Party leadership is now facing, caught between the burgeoning forces of Chinese nationalism on the one hand, and the demands of world civil society on the other. "This will definitely be seen as a climbdown by many people in the nationalist movement," Hughes predicted.

What is this? The "nationalist movement"? Who is the biggest promoter of nationalism in China but the Chinese government? Mao was so successful in part because of his deft use of nationalism (in the light of an anti-colonial struggle) to rally the Chinese people to his side. The "nationalist movement" is not something that is exogenous to the government.

If the Chinese government is afraid of nationalist fervour preventing them "climbing down" on Tibet, they only have themselves to blame. The only kind of demonstrations that have been allowed in China for years have been those that have stoked nationalism, in the face of perceived anti-Chinese actions abroad, in particular the visits to the Shinjuku shrine by the Japanese leaders.

Anyway, if the Chinese government is willing to acknowledge that the Dalai Lama is human after all, it's a good first step, and a vindication for all the violence of the pro-Tibet movement in recent weeks. Violence that pales greatly, it must be said, by the nearly 60-year campaign of cultural genocide by the Chinese government against Tibet, with thousands imprisoned and killed.

(This is no laughing matter, but this is also my only Chinese icon.)

*** ETA:
With a little more than 100 days until the opening ceremonies, the government is keen for its citizens to welcome Westerners, and everyone from around the world.

Of course, the government itself is the not most welcoming to foreigners right now, greatly limiting visas to pre-Olympics visitors.
frandroid: large crowd of indian women (south asia)
Dearest Star editors and proof-readers,

Can the Star stop using the term "East Indian"? There has never been a country named East India, and just two rapacious colonial empires bore this name, the British and Dutch East India companies. They definitely haven't been in business for over 100 years. Moreover, the people who live in your imaginary "East India" are actually located in real countries, such as India (no "East" here), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a couple more, depending on your liking. I understand that you may want to avoid confusion with the colonial term "Indian", referring to the original inhabitants of North America, but since you don't use the term in your pages anyway, and haven't for years, why should your readers be confused?

In general, the area described above is called "the Indian sub-continent" or "South Asia", the latter which provides for a nice adjective, "South Asian", which happens to be just as short as "East Indian". This adjective, which provides a vividly clear geographical cue as to the cultural origins of the noun it complements, is also impossible to confuse with "(North American) Indian" or even "West Indian".

Also, while I don't recall the
C.P. Style Guide making any recommendations in this matter, should it be so behind the times as to recommend the use of "East Indian", please, grow a spine in this case, and show C.P. how it's done.

There is actually one proper use of the term East Indian: that which relates to the eastern part of India, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa.

Chall dikra!
--François Villeneuve

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