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One world – one dream E-mail
City Life - Blogs & Columns
Written by Noruma Mueller
I will never forget that song. First of all it was the song for the Olympic games 2008 and you could hear it every time every where! I was even more fortunate, because for the Christmas party of 2008 my colleagues wanted to sing this song and practiced every single day for two weeks in the meeting room behind my desk...!!

The song tells us to remember that we are one world. Now I started to think about this fact again. That was already two years ago!! Now in March 9 it was time for the next Olympic games. And they are already over. DID YOU NOTICE SOMETHING ABOUT THAT???  In my former life (that is before I came to live in Xi'an), I used to go to some nice places during my holidays and I would disconnect a bit from the world. I would not watch TV or hear the radio, and every time when I came back home I would be surprised either by the fact that so much had happened in the world or by the fact that everything pretty much was the same as before. Anyway, watching the news was part of my daily life, of my routine. And my holidays were the time to forget and not to care about news.

Well that was before. Since I am living in China, things are the other way around. While I am here I feel like I do not know much about what is going on in the rest of the world. And every time I travel, I use the opportunity to „get in touch“ with the rest of the world.

I felt enchanted in the small book shop in Bangkok airport. Sooo many books, RECENT books and magazines in ENGLISH!!! And the face of the singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the cover of a book? What? “Scar Tissue” has a biography? Cool! And then I had a look at the bestsellers list. Oh, who are all those authors? I do not know most of them. I have not heard about them! Who is that woman Cecilia Ahern? She seems to be very popular and I can count 4 different books of her. I wanted to buy so many books but we had not really much space in our bags, so we bought two for each.

Then I started to read the newspaper. Again, I felt that magic attraction! I saw the faces of some of my favorite actors and I was surprised about the fact that they had new movies and I did not know about it! It seems like the cinema world has a bit more to offer than Avatar and Transformers (which are the only films which made it to Xi'an). And all the movies in ENGLISH!!!

The page with the cultural events was also nice! More than 4 photography exhibitions to be visited during the next days. Some concerts... Ah...! For a moment I thought if the flight was canceled I would find a way to enjoy the time in Bangkok!

In the hotel room, my husband switched on the TV. He zapped through all the channels until he found it. Are you aware that it is Olympic Games time somewhere in Canada? He asked me. I had read the german news, so of course I knew about it. And we also had seen the Chinese news together during the massage. Only to learn about the Chinese teams which performed good. But we did not hear anything about any other country's performance.

And there I was! In front of the TV, feeling thrilled because I was being witness of this event! Olympic games live! English coverage! And it seems not only china participated! In the newspaper, I was glad to read news about the neighbor countries. Hm... I realized that I am living in Asia but I still do not know more than I did before I came here. I tried to absorb as much as possible and came back to work in Xi'an with the intention to try to keep in touch with the external world (waiguo). I would need to spend even more time in the internet - but who cares.

Then the day before yesterday I was in the company as Georg, who is in business trip in Germany, told me he is watching the Oscars! WHAATTT?? Oscars? Today? And how does it come I did not know about it? I used to record the 7 or 8 hours long ceremony every year. I felt desperate... In the evening I switched on the television to see what the news tell me. Hm... bad timing! It is party meeting in Beijing and all the evening they talk only about the goals of the party. The culture express announces news about Oscars! Wow! The program starts at 8:30 pm and in fact the news about Oscars comes first. By 8:36 they changed to the next topic... They spent 6 minutes for both Oscars and Golden Raspberry Awards! All the winners were quickly presented. I could only see a glimpse of the winners in the category best actors. And that was it.

So back to the song. One world, one dream. The Olympic games 2008 were a nice opportunity for the world to learn a bit more about China. But how is it the other way around? How much do the people here know (or want to know) about the rest of the world?

Our valuable Editor Noruma Mueller has been with us since Sunday, 02 August 2009.

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+1 #1 Ian Clark 2010-05-31 23:44
This article is a good metaphor for the broader political trend as well. Whereas people were suckered into thinking that the modernization of China would mean China absorbing some positive Western qualities, it's actually meant the mass export of negative Chinese qualities (like censorship and pollution). It seems like of all the conditions promised by China to the olympic committee, none of them were kept. I even noticed CNN reporting what seemed to be reports directly translated from Xinhua.

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