Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Party's Party

I finally made it down to Tiananmen Square to see the decorations the Communist Party of China had put in place for its own birthday -- which was last week, July 1. I'd have visited sooner, but I was too preoccupied with choosing a place to celebrate a more important birthday: America's, on July 4 (it was good, by the way -- burgers and beer, what could be more American?).

This year, the Party turned 90. For such a momentous occasion -- there aren't that many communist parties left that can boast the kind of success, at least economically speaking, that the CPC can -- I'd expected there to be the same revelry and in the streets celebrating like there was for 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. But alas, no fireworks. My Chinese colleagues were amused when I asked if we got the day off. Silly foreigner, holidays are for special occasions.

I would have enjoyed watching a few hundred Chinese dressed in red singing the national anthem and condemning capitalism at one of the gala events at the Great Hall of the People but I somehow managed to get left off the VIP list. Maybe they'll remember me for the big shebang centennial celebration in 2021.

RED AND BLUE: I'm not sure what's more impressive about this photo: the giant hammer and sickle or those blue skies

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