Posted On: Friday - February 21st 2020 8:48AM MST
In Topics:   Humor  History  China  Bible/Religion  Socialism/Communism
America is no longer the land of a homogenized people, as if this were 1975, with a sprinkling of very bright and interesting people from foreign lands, per John Derbyshire's "salt in the stew" expression. Still, South Alabama?? That's where I saw a big billboard for this Shen Yun deal, along with some ads where I live. Are we supposed to know who they are?
I have connections with China, but other than knowing, from the posters and billboards, that there will be some kind of ballet dancing, this is new to me. Chinese people I know don't seem to have made any plans for Shen Yun.
It turns out, upon my research*, that, yes, this is a dance show, but there's some more interesting things about this group of Shen Yunners. From their FAQ ("FAQ" - how quaint, but I LIKE it.), one can see that this outfit is part of the Falun Gong movement. This movement, NOT, as one would expect, a Chinese version of the American Gong Show, was BIG in China in the late 1990s, and that's when the government there decided to crack the whip on those people that would get up early to do stretches, jumping jacks, and meditation right out in public.
It's really not so much the public exercising that was the problem, as Chinese older women especially, love to get together in big groups and do that for their not-always-so-girly figures. Falun Gong had gotten big and somewhat political, and they made it clear that they don't like Communism. In many ways, the Chinese Gov't is less Communist than America's Feral Gov't, but they sure make a serious effort to control lots of things that really cause them more ill will than benefit (Coronavirus info. being a good example). Control freaks is what they are, and there was a big clash, as from a gong, in 1999.
I didn't know this crowd was still around. They aren't very welcome in China, so they have taken their message to the Chinese people in (at least) America, who are no small "sprinkling of salt" contingent anymore. Hence the billboards.
Shen Yun is a display of ancient 5,000 year-old** Chinese culture that they maintain, per the FAQ, the Chinese Gov't has tried to erase. I believe they mean the hard-core Mao-era government mostly, not so much that of today, and I gotta say I agree with the tyrant Mao on one thing - those thousands of characters are a pain in the ass! Hopefully there's more to the culture that doesn't require sitting at home memorizing stuff from flash cards.
These people being serious anti-Commies has made more interested in attending, though, I'd prefer it be more of some kind of ancient cultural monster-ox-cart show vs. dancing. The dancers will be beautiful, of course, but what about the coronavirus scare? I've seen Chinese pop singers singing on youtube videos with face masks on. That would look stupid - take your chances, ladies - if it doesn't kill you it'll only make you stronger ... kind of like China's bout with Communism, come to think about it.
* ... "research" these days meaning spending a minute searching it up.
** I've heard it's really more like no more than 3,600 years, but who's counting?