Ode to the Communist Song Revisited

Back in 2009, as the Chinese Communist Party geared up to mark one major official anniversary (the 60th birthday of the founding of the PRC), China Beat was fortunate enough to be able to run a lively piece of reportage by the versatile writer Lijia Zhang on an unusual museum devoted to a single revolutionary song. Now, as the CCP prepares for another anniversary (the 90th birthday of the organization itself), headlines about the “Red Song” wave (a fad that has been most closely associated with Chongqing but has also been making its mark on other parts of the country) give that old piece a new kind of significance.

With this in mind, and with Lijia’s permission, we thought it would be good not only to remind readers of that earlier essay of hers, but also add in some new material: photos she took during her visit to the surreal and unusual museum dedicated to a single anthem. These have not appeared here before, but are offered up to give a visual feel for the things she described back in 2009:

Museum photo taken by the author

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Photo taken by author


Photo taken by Lijia Zhang

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