Year Of The Pig: China Bans Pig Images In Ads

nopigs.jpgAs some may know, Spring Festival is only a couple weeks away (February 18th is day one). It may also be known to you that this coming new year is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.

Well, in weird news of the day – China bans pigs from Year of the Pig TV advertisements. The move, apparently, was made by top party propaganda official Li Changchun to avoid offending China’s Muslim population (namely Hui and Uighur minorities) numbering about 21 million.

Again, for anyone that doesn’t know – Muslims (and Jews – and Christians if they follow the Old Testament closely) don’t eat pork as the pig is viewed as an “unclean animal”. It being an omnivore tends to eat all the crap it comes across (like us humans) and God closely adheres to the “you are what you eat” dictum.

“When governments make a decision about what Muslims want and don’t talk to Muslims, they come up with something completely ridiculous, and here’s what we’ve got.” – Omar Ahmad,

I try to imagine what the thought process behind making this decision was and I just can’t come up with it. I can’t figure out how a usually quite insensitive government (particularly to cultures or religions that deviate from the Party line) can twist a historic symbol of Chinese tradition into a very horribly executed attempt at cultural sensitivity. It makes my head hurt the way it does when I think about quantum physics, time travel and spandex.

If it wasn’t pigs, but say Muslims themselves being banned from adverts – I dunno – somehow that would make more sense. Quite a lot more offensive, but easier to understand.

This… well, this just has me at a loss.

13 Responses

  1. The last time I went through immigration at Pudong I noticed there was no line number 13, so at least the Chinese government has some precedence for their culturally “sensitive” wackiness.

  2. oh, i thought muslims ARE banned from chinese TV, since i never see any on TV here (unless they’re dancing on stage for the amusement of the han masses). h’mmm…

  3. Strange, there’s a rather long infomercial playing on Guizhou Satellite TV right now that features thousands of pigs. Well, stuffed toys, pictures, and other such things, no real pigs. But still, there’s thousands of them and this infomercial just keeps going, worse than the energizer bunny.

  4. I remember when I went to Urumuqi last summer for a couple of days and our tour guide couldn’t seem to stress enough “Don’t say ‘zhu (pig) rou (meat)’, even the word ‘zhu’ is offensive. You must learn this new word–insert word I forgot– and use this instead”.
    However, once we went in to town, most of the students I was with had already forgotten and were asking ‘zhe shi zhu rou ma?” (is this pork?) all over the place. People, most definitely not Han, didn’t really seem to care. I even remember hearing ‘zhu rou’ quite a bit.
    There’s a million possible reasons for all this craziness, and I don’t claim to fully understand, but it was pretty interesting/funny.

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  6. well, in the case of the pig in no ads…….maybe in 2008 …….with the “no” free speech the guy driving the tank can smile before the picture is taken……..just tells me the dude ain’t thinking about the people in China….only what some a!!hole Muslim would think. If its the year of the pig and i understand this year it is the “red” pig …cause every 60 years that happens…….whats the big deal…….the guy running the government of China should have the ba!!s to standup for the people of China…….and plaster that dang pig face all over the Country side.

    But here in America…..we have the same problem……people in government with no ba!!s.

  7. Madmilker

    You are right, this idocy was adopted by various contries because the US started it. therefore correct!
    Meanwhile you all realized Moslems in every Islamic country have their own religious ideas. In Egypt before Naguib and Nasser took over the country Egyptians celebrated every religious festival of their multireligious citizens. Xmas, New Year, Easter, >Orthodox Xmas, Orthodox Easter. jewish festivals. Lots of Moslems ate /eat? Mortadella, jambon. Everybody was happy , contented, tolerant of other peoples religious customs, ideas, teasing each other.
    Possily the Chinese thought if the Americans do it, we
    should do the same .

    To be in HARMONY with others, fine, but give up their thousand year old customs, excuse me very silly indeed.

    2l Million Chinese Moslems against hundreds of thousands Chinese with or without religion, not democratic. Is it? Years of the pig were celebrated for hundreds of yearsand the Moslem Chinese accepted it . Why suddenly now? What’s the difference?

  8. dang! it’s nice that i get one person to agree with some of the subject matter that i type……..thank you! have a great year and enjoy the pig!

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