Posted by: Corina Paraschiv | February 7, 2009

Red is for China

Red for China, for communism.  A group of sculptures representing young pioneers sitting, red scarf as part of their uniform, smiling with glee as we pass by a shop in Hong Kong.  Communism tinted a great deal of our trip.  On our first day together with the “Lee Group” as we’ll get to call it later – that is, the people staying at Lee’s Garden (hostel) – we walked into this art gallery, and ended up spending some 20 minutes in the center of it, debating on communism, immigration and other big topics, until the manager of the gallery, confused, came in to ask if he could assist us in anything.  The whole discussion had been fueled by the rather pro-communist oriented art pieces we found ourselves surrounded by.  There was a Vietnameese-Australian, a Canadian, a German, an Ice-Lander, amongst other, and that lay the ground for some very interesting talks.

This communism topic followed us throughout our visits in both Hong Kong (as we witnessed a protest for democracy) and in Shanghai – where our Academic Field Programmes brought us into companies and an established university.  In those settings, especially, red took on a dual meaning.  No longer was it just about communism, but it also became the color of Coke, a strong symbole of globalization.  At the bottom-right of this picture you can find the words Coca-Cola writen in Chinese, such as copied from the label of the bottle I drank.  It is a very strong symbole of the ambiguity I found between the government’s wishes and the reality of a competitive market.  You may follow my trails reading the articles above to discover more in depth about the various topics explored – from art and tourism, to politics and business.


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