Xiang River – Giant Mao Head – Changsha, Hunan, China II, originally uploaded by Serenity in China.
A few days ago Julianne and I went out for dinner with a Chinese couple that we are friends with.
It was an awesome night as the couple treated us to dinner at a German-Chinese fusion buffet restaurant, and then afterwards they let us stop to snap photos along the Xiang river.
Our friend really wanted us to take some shots of the giant Mao head that sits on a little islet in this part of the river so we did. He then wanted to do a couple shot of us with the Mao head in the background.
I didn’t know how to diplomatically explain that taking a ‘romantic couple shot’ with the Mao head in the background is tantamount to taking a ‘romantic couple shot’ with, oh, let’s say the short dude with the small ugly upper-lip mustache and penchant for doing straight-armed salutes into the air who sent millions of people . . . in the background of a ‘romantic/couple’ shot . . . it’s just about the most complex and dangerous cross-cultural topic one can bring up in China and I didn’t know of any way that I could say something . . .
I guess this picture really illuminates, especially for me, how differently foreigners see Mao versus how he is represented within China.
’nuff said about that, I think.