4.21.2006

how dare you

my eyes grew wide and ears perked up when came across a certain post of potatohead's whilst trawling my bloglines stash. you've got to be kidding!? i thought... so rather than rant and rave first before gathering my facts later, i turned to trusty ol' google (which in fact, isn't as trusty as you'd think. as the lovely mr. v pointed out, just try googling "tiananmen" in global google images and google china images)

so anyway, i tried all sorts of combinations and forms of "united nations" with "mandarin" and "traditional" and even "abolish" on both google and the UN webby to no avail. i kept getting sporadic, random pages. mostly irrelevant. a forum discussing this petition was trudged up from the midst of all the cyberjunk but i steered myself away. forums are awful places to be at, efficient timesinks to draw one into heated type-fests as opinions clashing in the virtual world create ripples into the real world.

from what i can gather, there was a miscommunication and a dash of sensationalization. the u.n. is receiving the benefit of the doubt, just to be clear. conspiracy theories abound in my little head you see. a random xangan i googled somewhat clarified what seemed more and more to be another urban legend, this whole abolition of traditional chinese business. she posted an article regarding the issue including "Local media reported yesterday that most of the supporters were overseas Chinese instead of local Taiwanese and attempted to dig into the issue." well now. overseas chinese eh? well no shit. of course we make up the majority when you leave out the mega millions of chinese in mainland china. what is there about that statement making it deserving of being bolded? enlighten me. while you're at it, enlighten me as to why the rest of the statements in bold are the way they are...

dear u.n. people...

i had originally wanted to rant and rave, asking how dare you abolish a flourishing language that has been in everyday use in at least 3 different countries for at least the past half a century. i was going to ask how you can call yourself a representative of our world and still hold your head above the shameful irony. apologies for jumping to conclusions, for i did a bit of snooping around.

ok. i get it. so you want to abolish all forms of traditional mandarin from all your publications and such. assuming that there's no other hidden agenda, go ahead u.n. go ahead. just don't impose your own set of rules on the rest of the world, for that would be ridiculous. as ridiculous as the rest of the world insisting that we will only accept one version of english. howdja lik it if engwish as wee noe it will henz4th b typed lik dis? hw'd u lk it if we suddnly had 2 uze a shrtr, mor smplified v. of chnze??

do you understand where i'm coming from? do you see what a harebrained scheme this abolition of traditional chinese is, should it be what the people on the internet claim? is that not what you were planning? you were already publishing everything mandarin using the simplified version, so why choose to make an official announcement about it and set a target date? that's akin to me clanging the pots and pans to announce that i'm going to officially start using my green towel in 5 minutes henceforth even though everyone else in the cabin has seen me with the only towel, a green one no less, i packed for the past 3 days.

whatever it is you had wanted to achieve from this announcement, i don't know but good for you. that being said, it's not going to stop the rest of us who value the cultural and historical value of traditional mandarin from continuing to use it, to teach it, to pass it on.

"Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng also said that due to the language's historical and cultural significance, the MOE is firm in its stance that traditional Chinese characters will continue to be taught in local educational institutions regardless of the U.N.'s decision." says the article. atta boy!

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