What Has My Country Done For Me?
On the PRC’s 59th National Day, the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekend published a collection of Chinese citizens’ reflections on “what my country has done for me” (There are also three more collections under “what have I done for my country,” “what more my country can do for me” and “what more I can do for my country.”)
Roland Soong translated some of those quotes on his ESWN blog, here are some samples:
(Beijing university lecturer)
I came from a poor village in Henan province. From elementary school to my doctorate degree, the state provided basically free education. During my university year in 1990, the state began to collect tuition fees at 450 RMB per annum.
Presently, the state provides a basic and safe social order and it guarantees economic development. The state-run university is the source of my income. The state provides benefits such as medical insurance, housing, pension and so on.
I grew up on this earth. This is my motherland. The love for this earth and its people is a seed that was planted deep in our hearts. If we love China, we should work hard to make it even better.
(Guangzhou IT company employee)
The state has spent quite a bit on me. Each year, they introduce new campaigns and slogans so that I can be a good person who does right for the country. It repeatedly demanded that I do the “honorable” thing by paying my taxes, adhering to the family planning laws, obeying public morality, trusting the government and listening to their calls. I cannot deny that the country taught me to become an obedient person.
Objectively speaking, when my mother had to stay at the hospital this year for her operation, 50% of the expenses were paid for by the state. This is the biggest thing that the state has done for me. My son will not have to pay tuition fees beginning this year, as free education gets implemented.
(Nanchang university teacher)
The country did at least three things for me — the long-lasting culture, the precious peace and the dignified self-pride of a people. But the safety provided by the country is imperfect, because I almost lost my life during a Beijing robbery and I ate unsafe dairy products.
(Shanghai financial analyst)
The country has done many things. They established the elementary schools, secondary schools and the universities which provided me with more than 10 years of education. They established the social science institutes and newspapers which provided me with a job. They turned housing into a free market, which was better than squeezing in government dormitories even though it is more expensive. They gave the impetus for everybody to seek wealth, so that I can be at the same level as rich people. They established the banks and the capital markets to help me and many friends to find jobs that interest us. We learned about the K-curve graphs, the American stock market and the global economic trends. We increased our insight while making money sometimes — even though the newly listed companies took away a lot of money.
(Southern Weekend website user)
The country provides me with a stable living environment, particularly in Guangzhou. I will admit frankly that I am homosexual, and I can be intimate with my lover openly in certain places.