I tried to watch Man Push Cart a few years ago… well after I was indoctrinated into Chinese life. I ended-up turning it off. It probably would’ve had more resonance if I’d not seen so many people doing far more manual tasks as just part of their daily lives.
Refer to the country by the correct name… the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I can tell you from first-hand experience that they don’t like being called North Korea. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK, or Korea were the three choices that were given to me when I visited Pyongyang in 2009.
Here are some other indicators:
- http://www.korea-dpr.com/, says it is the official web page of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm, which is a major news outlet for the state, says News From KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
- http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/, which is one of China’s major publications, calls it DPRK
Heck, in an article on the China Daily site, they even go so far as to correct the president:
“North Korea (DPRK) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations,” Obama said during a press conference in Seoul after talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak.
Look, we’re talking about a country that has the fifth largest active army, the capacity to launch rockets/long-range missiles, and might be developing nuclear weapons.
If the US is really intent on reaching-out to the people and/or government of the country, they can start by using their chosen name.
In August of 2007, roughly a year before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an entrepreneur rolled-out a bicycle rental scheme in the capital city. This effort was noted in both Chinese and Western media:
Although I think Mr Wang surely must’ve made money off of foreigners visiting the city for the Olympics, here’s what one of the rental stations now looks like:
The bicycles have long been abandoned, left chained together in key places through-out the city as they rot away. This particular place, in the Wudaokou area, had more than 50 bicycles. (There are actually two groups of bicycles here — one red and one white — I think the red ones might’ve been from a competing company.)
In discussions with friends at the time, there was a general consensus that the scheme would fail:
- The bikes were of poor quality
- Most people who would ride bikes already had them
- The one year fee was more than that a person would pay to own a bike outright (especially at some of the city’s “used” bike markets)
In addition, it seems that there wasn’t much maintenance being performed on the bicycles.
Note: the title refers to the movie Beijing Bicycle.