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Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The aftermath of the China earthquake

When I was preparing a workshop for some journalists at the BBC, I came across a couple of blogs written by husband (Paul) and wife (Lara) in English from Chengdu, China.

I particularly like this post by Lara, who teaches Applied Linguistics at Sichuan University.

In it she describes life one week on from the earthquake: telling her students that this year's class is over, standing outside as sirens ring out in memorial to the dead, noting the pride of the Chinese people in their government and soldiers.

A piece written by Paul a few days ago, which includes pictures of the tents people have been using, also makes interesting reading. He says:
"Class politics is playing itself out here, as parents from poorer areas are asking why their schools were so shoddy that they collapsed, while those from more wealthy schools just down the street survived. After days of protests, a group of parents planned a march to Chengdu to demand answers. At first, a local Communist Party official pled with them, from his knees no less, not to march to the capital. They also offered the parents $4,500 per child if they would just keep quiet. Finally, they corralled the protesting parents onto a bus and drove them to a meeting with local Party officials, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of going over local officials’ heads."

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