Tag Archives: Spring Festival; CCTV; imagined community

Chinese new year made special

3 Feb

In China, the Spring Festival bears special meaning for Chinese people. This is the time, once a year, when people need to get together with their families without any excuses.

For people who can go back home, they will find any plausible way that can make them home, despite the situation in the pre-festival traveling, which needs a strong body and highly determined mind.

For those who cannot, celebrations of any means should also take place. It usually include sitting together with whatever people you can find that bear the same cultural capital. The conception of gathering is important.

Chinese students in another countries are the latter. Although for a trivially few of them going back to China is still feasible in spite of the high traveling expense. Most of them are thousands of miles away from their families in such a crucial point of the year.

But the spirit of the Spring Festival shall never be lost.

An imagined community

When people are put in a different cultural environment, culture shock is almost deemed to be shared.

People in this sense will tend to look for signs that maintains their bonds with the homelands.

The more people feel that shock, the more hard they struggle to find those familiar cultural signs.

Globalisation has enabled/forced people to scatter in the world while following the same universal calendar.

Therefore when a certain festival is around the corner, people in places other than their mother lands will suffer the pain even more.

But the bonds, to bigger or lesser extents, can always be maintained. Certain cultural elements still help people to be together with their families – in a virtual way.

A imagined community, according to Benedict Anderson, will be generated when people share the same identity.

Media, can sometimes function as the channel that delivers elements of the same identity.

The Spring Festival Gala (chunjie wanhui) which happens on the evening of 30th December of the nular calendar, helps to build the imagined community for Chinese people.

Usually a Spring Festival Gala will include following elements that makes up the jigsaw of Chinese culture: a lot of red decorations, festive songs, well-known stars, talkshows with mainstream topics.

The gala, which is although disliked by the younger generation, is still capable of connecting people’s minds via presenting elements that are shared by differents individuals with the same cultural identity.

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