This morning I observed the Baishizhou Culture Station in action. Two groups of aunties were singing. The first group was singing Mandarin karaoke, the second group was singing an original Hakka composition entitled, “Resolutely Believing in the Party”. Later that morning the new Shahe Party Secretary came by, singing a karaoke song (“The Northern Spring”) and enjoyed the performance by the Xintang Hakka Mountain Song Chorus. Handshake 302 also presented our work to date.
The morning of community culture, including a Party Secretary karaoke moment reminded me that so much of Chinese political culture is making and maintaining good relationships between Party representatives and the represented. The pictures show the lyricist, the singing Secretary, and the Culture Center’s documentation of the event.
So here are the translated lyrics of “Resolutely Believing in the Party”. Note the definition of xiaokang–a basic material standard of well being. Note also in the picture that the lyrics have been written by hand.
Spring brings the fragrance of one hundred flowers, one hundred flowers
Everyone has a car and building, a house, a building and a house
Every kind of furniture
Three healthy meals a day, nutrition and health
Summer comes and the heat is hard to bear, the heat is hard to bear
Everyone has a fan or air conditioner, installed an air conditioner
No need to roast and sweat
We have electric slow cook pots for traditional soup, traditional soup
Fall comes and it turns cool, it turns cool
We wear fashionable clothes, fashionable clothes
Everyone carries a cell phone
Each home has internet and is linked to the world, linked to the world
Winter brings snowflakes to the mountain, snowflakes in the mountain
Reform and Opening is the promise of Spring, the promise of Spring
Resolutely believing in the Party
Beauty and happiness with the realization of xiaokiang, we’ve realized xiaokang
Interesting that they have such songs in Hakka, but I wonder if I should be nervous when people resolutely believe in the party…
I think age of participants matters–all were over 60 and so they do have a different relationship to the Party, especially Deng Xiaoping. As the song says, this generation was the immediate beneficiary of Reform and Opening and they are grateful. They also grew up singing Hakka songs that celebrate the Party. Kind of like I listen to 80s Rock, and can sing along even when I don’t actually know the lyrics, this generation has lived in and through Party cultural forms.