Tag Archives: Weibo

Observing the Tiananmen Anniversary with ‘Big Yellow Duck’

China’s Internet users tried to keep memories of the Tiananmen Incident alive through use of popular memes like the Rubber Duck. (Weibo via Tea Leaf Nation)

China’s Internet users tried to keep memories of the Tiananmen Incident alive through use of popular memes like the Rubber Duck. (Weibo via Tea Leaf Nation)

Here’s a post from my Big Show colleague Traci Tong…

June 4 was the 24th anniversary of the bloody crackdown by Chinese authorities against student protesters in Tiananmen Square.

China’s leaders go to great lengths to prevent people from remembering what happened.

That includes banning online searches for words or phrases like “Tiananmen,” “tanks,” or “June 4th.”

Today Chinese censors added another phrase: “Big yellow duck.”

Rachel Lu, editor at Tea Leaf Nation, an e-magazine that analyzes China’s social media, said the big yellow duck refers to a giant rubber yellow ducky, similar to the bathtub toy.

"Tank man" blocks a column of Type 59 tanks near Tiananmen Square during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.  (Photo: Jeff Widener /AP/Wiki Media)

“Tank man” blocks a column of Type 59 tanks near Tiananmen Square during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. (Photo: Jeff Widener /AP/Wiki Media)

The duck is 54 feet high and is an art installation that’s been floating in Hong Kong’s Victoria harbor for the past month.

The floating duck has become a minor celebrity. An anonymous poster on the Chinese social media network, Weibao, took four images of the duck and superimposed them on that iconic image of the four tanks during the Tiananmen Square pro democracy protests.

Lu says the duck has now become a symbol to remind the Chinese people about the Tiananmen Square event in 1989.



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Attitudes to graffiti from ancient Egypt to modern China

Second century graffito depicting a man worshiping a crucified donkey. The inscription translates as “Alexamenos respects God.” It may be mocking a Christian soldier. (Photo: Palatine Museum, Rome/Wikipedia)

Here’s a guest post from my Big Show colleague Nina Porzucki

The Chinese teen who scrawled some graffiti on an ancient relic in Egypt caused an uproar last month.

While Chinese officials and netizens gave the kid a really hard time, turns out the boy might have simply been channeling ancient Egyptian habits.

Remember that scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”? Brian is marking up a wall, and is caught by a Roman soldier who corrects his grammar. Well, that bit may contain more truth than you know.

In ancient times, graffiti didn’t connote vandalism as it does today.

Turns out graffiti was something done by the elite and well educated as a way, you might say, to show off good spelling.

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Oxford University Egyptologist Chloé Ragazzoli about contemporary attitudes to ancient graffiti.

Crusader Graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (Victorgrigas/Wikimedia Commons)



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