Earthquake and the Imperatives of Chinese Mourning

Don Sutton writes on the China Beat blog:

Disasters like the great Sichuan earthquake expose not only mass suffering but also the imperative of proper treatment of the dead. Long before the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, governments in China had concerned themselves with such matters. Today, ranking only behind the weighty practical matters of rescue, flood prevention, and caring for the injured and homeless, sensitivity to mourning is a key measure of the government’s performance, one complicated by ethnic diversity, rural/urban differences, and the government’s own commitment to reform those practices it regards as superstitions.


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