Monday, January 24, 2011

Is there a political message in the song chosen by Lang Lang for the Whitehouse dinner?

Lang LangCover of Lang LangLang Lang is an acknowledged master of the piano in the current generation, and his invitation to Whitehouse to perform for Obama and Hu at the state dinner was no surprise.

What was surprising is the song chosen.

Chinese communist propaganda war poster during...Image via WikipediaThe song is called "My Motherland"  (literally: Wo-Di-Zhu-Guo, or "my ancestral nation"). While it is a Chinese patriotic song, it is also the main theme for "Battle on Shangganling Mountain," about a communist "People's Volunteer Army" defeating U.S. military "jackals" in a Korean War battle.

While there is no literal mention of the war, "jackals" (i.e. invaders) will be met with "guns". Remember, Chinese literature and songs are filled with symbolisms.

I can think of a dozen more songs that does not have this contextual problems.

Perhaps Lang Lang was completely unaware of the contextual problem, but it is unlikely everybody else is also completely unaware as well.

So who decided to keep quiet?
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