Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The salty fish turns around

Photos from http://boston.com

The Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony at the Bird's Nest on Aug. 8th was such a feast. One of my friends kept texting me yesterday talking about how impressive it was. He also recommended that I watch the BBC and NBC versions of the opening ceremony respectively again, which, according to him, were much better than the CCTV coverage. I had watched the excerpts of NBC version of the Opening Ceremony. To me, the version of coverage does not really matter. This is truely the best Olympic Opening Ceremony I've ever seen, which has dwarfed previous opening ceremonies in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004).

'WOW', 'amazing' were the words I uttered when I was watching the ceremony live on CCTV. I've seen Chinese culture well embedded in a ceremony delivered by hard working performers and through modern technology. You know what? I am a very proud Chinese, very proud.

It seems Zhang Yimou, the director of the ceremony, is what we say 咸鱼翻身了(The salty fish turns around) in Chinese. Most of his films have not been appreciated by many Chinese and he has been bashed a lot. Neither do I like any of his past films. But this time, he has got my applause. Well done!

According to a survey by mediametrie.com, the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony was indeed one of the most watched live events in the world, without however breaking records in Europe due to the time difference. In America, NBC gets record rating for tape-delayed Opening Ceremony. It seems the world is impressed by the dazzling Opening Ceremony. Great start!

What will the Closing Ceremony be like?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Olympics? I could have cared less

Thanks to the riots in Lhasa, the farce orchestrated to disrupt the torch relay and the devastating earthquake, it has been a hectic year for China so far. Finally, here we are, just two days away from the long-awaited opening of Beijing Olympics. Before the celebration begins, I would like to talk a little about the question: what does Beijing Olympics mean to you personally? I came cross this question about 2 months ago when I was browsing an expat's blog on the internet. The blogger wrote about his observations on Chinese reactions to the Olympics. He was surprised by the enthusiasm and the passion Chinese poured into this event. A couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with one friend who is not a fan of the Olympics. He said it was just another big event, no more than that. No enthusiasm, no passion and in a plain tone. I sort of expected it. Honestly, Beijing Olympics could have meant very little to me personally. The Word Cup (soccer) is far more attractive. However, the chaotic scenes in London and Paris legs of the torch relay and biased western media have worked and infused meaning into the Olympics. Now I couldn't care more about this event. I strongly hope that this Olympics can be the best Olympic Games ever held in history. Biased western media? Well, we stay defiant.