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Rachel Lu

Image – Mao Temple in China – Chairman Mao Becomes Local God

Photos of a Mao temple in Mianyang, Sichuan Province were posted to Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, by Lin Jie (@林洁), chairman of B.A. Consulting, a real estate service group.  The temple was built in 2006, but many users seem to be encountering these photos for the first time, and Lin’s tweet generated more than 4,700 retweets and 1,250 comments in less than 12 hours. 

There are many signs to suggest that the temple was built by local people with little or no education. Mao was referred to as a “son of heaven,” a term for Chinese emperors that the Communists claimed to have deposed. Mao was put side by side with a Taoist deity. The writing on the door flouts common rules of couplet composition in Chinese language. 

Many users jeered with comments like “disgusting” and “stupidity knows no bounds.” @讪讪莱吃 tweets, “China is still a semi-feudal society today. It’s not weird. [Many] don’t want to stand up and be citizens, and would rather kneel on the ground and be docile feudal subjects.” {{1}}[[1]]中国至今是半封建社会,不奇怪。不愿站着做公民,只愿跪着做顺民臣民。[[1]]

Others sought a deeper sociological explanation. @福德堂居士 tweets: ”It’s worth reflecting on the social psychology and mass demand behind this phenomenon. Why does this phenomenon happen? Why are there many people, especially the masses at the bottom of social strata, who still yearn for the Mao Era? Let’s ask a few more ‘whys’!” {{2}}[[2]]值得反思的是这种现象背后的社会心理和大众需求。为什么会有这种现象?为什么社会上许许多多人特别是底层民众会怀念毛泽东时代?多问几个为什么吧![[2]]

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Rachel Lu

Rachel Lu is a co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation. Rachel traces her ancestry to Southern China. She spent much of her childhood memorizing Chinese poetry. After long stints in New York, New Haven and Cambridge, she has returned to China to bear witness to its great transformation. She is currently based in China.