Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Only in China

There are nearly enough Chinese named Zhang Wei to populate the city of Pittsburgh (and that's just in China).
One of those "I simply have to share this" things. I found this New York Times piece on ay-es's blog (thank you! See, I credit). Click on the post title to go to the article.

The Chinese government is issuing out computer generated identity cards, but their computers only read "32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters", so the government there does what no other administration could pull off: ask people to change their names if the character is unrecognisable.

The article humoured me and annoyed me at the name time. On one hand the problem is typically and uniquely Chinese, and actually funny in a this-is-unbelievably-sad-and-hilarious sort of way. On the other hand, the approach taken clearly reflects common views about the government there: bureaucratic, insensitive, inflexible and authoritarian.

They are also introducing "a standardized list of characters for people to use in everyday life, including when naming children". Only in China, right?


Inaesb said...

Yep..haha. In a teensy weensy way, makes bolehland seems a little nicer, isn't it? :)

Algy said...

Haha, yes, but only in a teensy weensy way. Unlike the CCP however, we neither have a booming economy nor over a billion people in our country for our government to justify its less-than-noble actions.

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