Thursday, 29 June 2017

Twelve socialist core values, Xizhou, China

Painted signs of a political nature are everywhere in China. This example dates from 2014, when the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, issued the "12 socialist core values" (in China it is known as the "24" because of the number of characters), as an important step in the construction of the socialist system. The slogan lists those essential values of Chinese socialism that should guide the actions of the government, society and individuals.

富强 民主 文明 和谐 自由 平等
公正 法治 爱国 敬业 诚信 友善
[Prosperity, Democracy, Civilization, Harmony, Freedom, Equality,
Justice, the Rule of Law, Patriotism, Dedication, Integrity and Friendliness]

According to the CPC, prosperity, democracy, civilization and harmony are attached to the state. Freedom, equality, justice and the rule of law should guide Chinese society. As for patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendliness, they are the responsibility of each individual.
The order is quite telling: contrary to Western democracies, where the individual comes first, China focuses first on the state, then society, and the individual comes last.

Location: Xizhou, Yunnan, China

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Public phone, Xizhou, China

This curious house, known locally as the Round House (圓樓), used to be Xizhou's highest building. Sadly it is now looks abandoned. I could not find any information about its history but a very simple ghost sign indicates there was once a public phone there.

[Public phone] 

The sign is actually written twice, on each side of the door: in two vertical lines to the left, and on a single vertical one on the to the right.


Location: Xizhou, Yunnan, China

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Fire Prevention Strategy, Advice No. 4, Xizhou, China

This sign is part of the Chinese authorities' fire prevention strategy, which includes twelve precautionary meaures. It represents the fourth advice (see them all here). In a small rural town such as Xizhou, where stoves are widely used, it is particularly relevant.

[Do Not Place Inflammable Items Near Stoves, Make Sure Ashes Are Completely Cold Before Disposal, Keep Stacks of Hay Outside the House]

Location: Xizhou, Yunnan, China

Monday, 26 June 2017

Protect Arable Land for the Benefit of the Children, Xizhou, China

This week features a series of painted signs from Xizhou, a small town in the province of Yunnan, China, famous for its well preserved Bai architecture. As can be expected in China, advertising, political slogans, and various pieces of public information can be found on the walls.

The slogan below reminds people of the importance of preserving agricultural land for future generations. The sentence first appeared in official publications in the early 2010s and highlights one of China's growing problems: the increasing pollution of its land and water resources, and the ensuing challenge to feed its population.

保护耕地, 造福子孙!
[Protect Arable Land for the Benefit of the Children!]

Location: Xizhou, Yunnan, China

Saturday, 24 June 2017

B. K. Dental Shop, Kathmandu

The area around Bangemudha, at the junction of Chandramn Singh Marg and Chittadhar Marg in Kathmandu, is home to several dentists and associated dental businesses, who often advertise their services with a characteristic smile. Their concentration in this part of the city is explained by the presence on the small square of the shrine to Vaisha Dev, the Newari toothache god, and therefore of potential customers. The shrine consists of a large log (Bangemudha means "Crooked Tree" and was the name of the legendary tree the log was cut from), which is completely hidden underneath thick layers of coins nailed into it. These coins have been placed by people seeking the god's help to cure toothaches.

B. K. Dental Shop 

The shrine to Vaisha Dev at Bangemudha

Location: Banghemudha, Kathmandu

Friday, 23 June 2017

Jewellery Workshop, Kathmandu

It looks as if the more elaborate design of the first past of this sign was abandoned in favour or greater visibility. The combination of red letters and projected blue shadows did not give a great result indeed.

NR Jwellery [sic] Workshop

Location: Kathmandu

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Electronic Center, Kathmandu

Two years after the dramatic earthquakes that devastated Nepal, many buildings are still in need of repairs.

Electronic Center

Location: Kathmandu