09 December 2004

Wie ein Beijinger zu sein

Simply fill in these blanks thoughtfully provided by IchbineinBeijinger.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China offers journalists new to Beijing this useful template for your first files. It has been used with great success by big-name reporters hundreds of times! Just fill in the blank with the appropriate phenomena, supply some names for sources, and voila! Instant China story.
By Kaiser Kuo

_________ Comes to China

BEIJING, November 18, 2004 - China is in the throes of another 'cultural revolution,' but this time it's not politics, but a growing class of hipoisie leading the charge. The latest western fad to breach the fabled Great Wall? (FILL IN THE BLANK), which many are calling the most revolutionary thing to hit China since Mickey Mouse.

"It's a revolution in cool," says (PROFESSOR), who teaches contemporary Chinese cultural studies at (UNIVERSITY). "It's not for your Average Zhou," he quips, "but ______ is really catching on with young people."


China, which has a history of 5,000 years, invented gunpowder, paper, the compass, sericulture, printing and the men's pleather clutch purse. It is also credited with discovering green tea as a Chivas mixer. Pride in their own creations makes western fads like ______ difficult for some Chinese to accept.

When ______ first appeared on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, controversy followed close behind. Only a few years earlier, society was skeptical of such 'spiritual pollution' that fads like breakdancing represented in the China of the 80s, or the 'bourgeois liberalization' of the early-90s Klezmer craze.

"How can we Chinese, who have 5,000 years of history and invented gunpowder, paper, the compass, sericulture, printing and the men's pleather clutch purse be so easily seduced by western _____?" (CHINESE NAME) asks. "It's just a fad, and like McDonalds, Starbucks, and unleaded gasoline," he says sipping a cocktail of Chivas and green tea in a hip Sanlitun club. "As our leaders once said, 'It doesn't matter if it's a black cat or a white cat, as long as it catches mice.' But what color cat is _____? And where are the mice?," (NAME) demands.

But like it or not, ______ is spreading fast, and not just in the cities. In Yellow Peony Gulch Village, a hardscrabble hamlet nestled amidst the dun-colored hillsides of Shaanxi Province, where even today some people still live in caves carved into the loess cliff faces, _____ is already making inroads. "Yes, we've seen ______ on the television. My wife thinks it's naughty, and so do many of the older people here in Yellow Peony Gulch Village. But the youngsters are already picking it up," says (CHINESE PEASANT NAME), 52, as a gap-toothed grin spreads across his deeply-creased, weatherworn face. "But I'm young at heart, and I think people should be willing to try new things!"
via Simon World

I'll add just one hint. When broadcasting on air, just be sure to pronounce Beijing as if it were French (i.e., with a zh), rather than Chinese. If you're an international reporter, it's much better to sound sophisticated than knowledgeable about the local language.

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