Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Moral Heroes

The yearly 'Spring Festival Party', a TV show produced by the Central China Television (CCTV), the official national TV station has been the highlight of the traditional holiday for 30 years. It is the most expected, most watched, and more recently, the most criticized show in China. For a young actor, a 5 second appearance in the TV party equates a recognition of national fame and status, which usually translate a 10x appraisal of ticket value everywhere else. On the other side, for an established actor, an unexplained absence from the party will often result in plunged income in the years to come. As a matter of fact, the show is the only TV program that all Chinese, regardless of their social status, have to watch on the New Year's eve, even those who openly hate it.

Understandable, any word or gestures in the show must have been carefully scrutinized by the Central Propaganda Department in the long six months of its production. The Party never missed the opportunity to pass on important message through the show.

This year, ten officially recognized 'National Moral Heroes' were praised on the show. They are small people who had done extraordinary deeds to the society. However, among them, two were questioned by the online community.

  • Dr. Liu Yulian made the list for her dedication to patients, mostly poor villagers; but also for her sacrifice. She left her 11 months old daughter, who was sick at the time, bounded at home so that she could go out to treat her patients. The death of the girl did not stop Dr. Liu one night to do the same to her second baby girl, who cheated the death with a 104 fever when she walked out of door with the girl bounded at home.

  • Mr. Hu Wenchuan made the list for saving the lives of 4 children drowning in water, while the fifth being his own son.

There is an old Chinese saying, Care for elders like caring for your own parents, and care for youth as caring for our own children. Obviously, Dr. Liu and Mr. Hu had acted above and beyond the tradition value. However, many audiences question what made them do that.

It will be easier to understand if we follow communism ideologies. There is no property, no self, no family, no value, no moral, but only the great movement to liberate the human being led by the Party.

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