Sad anniversary today: the Tiananmen Square Massacre happened 26 years ago, and it is still very clear in the collective memories, at least outside China for what the international press could offer to the world view.
The image we all foreigners (laowai) remember too well is the single man in front on the tank column:
It was June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force.
Another image will always remain impressed in my memory (also because it had been printed as full page with no other words), from Sergio Staino, Italian comics author for the periodic called “Cuore“, a left wing satiric magazine:
A strong image, from left-wing people crying sad tears for the worst application of Communism in reality..
Officially it is thought that the memory of the Tiananmen Square protests appears to have faded in China, especially among younger Chinese people, due to government censorship and many pages about these facts, Wikipedia included, are blocked in China. But in my short experience in China, participating to English corner events at the university of Hefei, I got more than once questions about our foreigner vision or knowledge of the protest in those days. Warm and delicate topic to treat. Difficult to be objective, even for a person in love with China as I am!
To my surprise though, quite a few of young students used the various VPN and proxy not only for Facebook or YouTube but also for reading international news and information and jump over the so called Great Firewall of China. Still, politics in particular and how China is seen from abroad are topics I always preferred to avoid.
I admit though that the sad anniversary takes me back to happy days in China and in Hefei, especially. And browse through my past posts brought me some sadness and longing feeling of that life, those people (one in particular, at least in my mind image of her), that food (!!)… I’ll be back one day and some things, not all fo course, will be equally good. Some other, maybe, probably, even better!