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西红柿 (xī hóng shì): tomato

The word for tomato sounds the same in Chinese as 西红市, “western red city” which refers to Chongqing. The reason Chongqing has become the “western red city” is because of an ambitious program to encourage residents to sing “red songs.” As reported in the Guardian:

The south-western Chinese city has launched the musical campaign to mark this year's 90th anniversary of the Communist party's birth.

Television and radio stations are broadcasting the tunes, newspapers are carrying the scores and officials are arranging public performances of Love of the Red Flag and Good Men Should Become Soldiers.

Officials are also urging artists to help train people "to raise a fever of singing red [revolutionary] songs," according to the People's Daily website. The initiative is the latest phase in the "red culture movement" launched by the city's ambitious party boss Bo Xilai.


"Red songs will be passed on for ten thousand generations: Performance by the masses of Chongqing.


Performance in Chongqing