Who On Earth is the Enemy?

August 17, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015
Survivors of the Sichuan earthquake burn paper for their loved ones, a Chinese custom, May 2008. (China Photos/Getty Images)
Survivors of the Sichuan earthquake burn paper for their loved ones, a Chinese custom, May 2008. (China Photos/Getty Images)

Memorial service prohibited during Olympic Games

I remember that a high ranking intelligence official from a western country once said that if you have a hard time judging the significance of an event, you should look at the resources the host has mobilized for it.

There is no doubt that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has been tagged with many political agendas—whether it has been the torch relay, the wooing of state leaders to attend, the lip syncing or the computer generated firework images at the opening ceremony.

However, an incident that occurred tonight would not only surprise the foreign reporters, it also greatly shocked me—a native Chinese who believed he knew very well the obscure policies and hypocritical tricks of the Chinese communist regime.

It was already quite dark at 9:30pm in Changchun, a northeastern Chinese city, and the roads were almost empty. I was passing by some remote crossroads in the suburbs, far away from the center of the city. 

To my surprise, at least eight senior citizens appeared at all four directions of the crossroads, wearing red armbands and carrying loudspeakers. They had been recruited by the regime as volunteer "red armband security forces".

Once they spotted a pedestrian, they would turn on the speaker and broadcast the following: “During the Olympic Games, it is not allowed to burn the paper money for the dead.”

I was a little surprised and realized that today, August 15, is actually July 15 in the lunar calendar, the Chinese Festival of the Dead day, or the Chinese Halloween day. No wonder I saw many people burning paper money on quiet corners. On the Chinese Festival of the Dead day, it is a traditional Chinese folk custom that paper money is burnt at crossroads to memorialize their deceased family members.

Chinese people believe the dead people also have their social activities and they need money to buy stuff. By burning the paper money, their relatives who passed away will get money to spend.

Regardless of whether burning paper money to deliver their prayers, placing a bunch of flowers, or placing a lamp in the river, these are the prayers to the deceased, the spontaneous expressions of humanity, the extension of feelings, and the basic beliefs of the people.

The Chinese Communist regime is so meticulous in safeguarding the success of the Olympic Games that it has even prohibited the memorial service on the Chinese Festival of the Dead day.

Who knows where these senior citizens came from? Changchun is about 500km away from Shenyang, the nearest hosting city for the Olympic Games. Can the smoke from burning paper money in Changchun reach the sky of Shenyang and cause haze like the one in Beijing?

For the Olympic Games, the Chinese Communist regime has mobilized the resources of the whole nation. It has even initiated combat readiness and prohibited any economic and folk custom activities that the regime thinks would disturb the atmosphere for the Olympic Games. Its goal is to achieve so-called “safety”, but who on earth is the enemy?

Read the original article in Chinese: http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/8/8/16/n2230385.htm

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.