Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grampa Lian, you've come back!

Sara tells me that this was how Nationalist Party chairman Lian Zhan was ceremonially welcomed when he made his first trip to China in 2005. A young girl raised her arm with a flourish and cried out, "Lian Yeye, ni huilai le!" Her artificial tone made this statement a hit with ironic cell phone users in Taiwan, many of whom used it as a ring tone for their phones.

Today I found a piece of calligraphy given to me by a man in Luzhou, Sichuan, in 2005. It commemorates the Flying Tigers, one of whose squadrons was based at Luzhou. It is funny that the only reason this man felt able to write that message was because Lian Zhan had visited China and therefore the Chinese media, overnight, "legitimated" all the previously not-talked about history of the Nationalist era. the flying tigers were officially part of the Republic of China (headed by the Nationalists) Air Force. Men in tea houses brought up the Flying Tigers with me.

the state decides so much, opening vistas for us and closing them at will.

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