Financial Times Notes Creepy Chinese Olympic Cheering Guide

It's the Olympics, Communist centralized planning-style.The June 7 Financial Times reported on how the Communist regime in Beijing is in the process of employing "unified trainng" to get Chinese spectators to cheer and clap at this year's summer games in the precise manner that pleases the Communist Party leadership.

The "civilised stadium gesture", designed by a team of experts, involves rhythmic clapping, a double thumbs-up and raising of the spectators' clenched fists.It is to be accompanied by the chanting of the phrase "Olympics . . . add oil! China . . . add oil!" - a slogan more freely translated as "Go Olympics! Go China! - but officials say that other nations can be substituted for China when appropriate."These movements work across cultures. They can be accepted and appreciated by people of any culture or language, including religious believers and disabled people," the official Xinhua news agency quoted organisers as saying.Organisers say advance-sale tickets are virtually sold out, a success that underlines popular enthusiasm for the games but also means many spectators are likely to be unfamiliar with the norms of audience etiquette.To promote the clapping method there will be "unified training" for the 800,000 school pupils and students to be given tickets for games events, with youth delegates taking a public oath to "spread the Olympic spirit" to surrounding spectators.

Sounds cartoonishly funny and yet creepy at the same time. Kudos to the Financial Times for noting it.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters