Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Inadvertent truths (2)

In checking on Wikipedia the other day to see exactly when Qing Ming Jie - the annual tomb spring-cleaning ancestor rite - falls this year (it's TODAY), I discovered that there's a Chinese expression for going outside to enjoy the arrival of spring. It's 踏青, ta qing - which means literally "to trample on the green".

It evidently doesn't have any negative connotations for the Chinese; but perhaps it should. It is rather too painfully apposite a description for the unconcern that so many Chinese display for the health of their countryside. There's been an awful lot of trampling going on over the past three days of public holiday.

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