SHANDONG, East China — The unmistakable wail of the suona pierces the dusk in the village as Wang Ruiyong plays a traditional tune on the double-reed instrument. The elderly funeral attendees approve, recognizing the melody. Yet for nearly five years now, Wang and other suona masters have been recording their repertoire in the fear that the songs could soon be forgotten as their tradition increasingly comes under threat.
As a teenager in the 1980s, Wang would play several gigs a day with his grandfather’s band. Everywhere they performed, they were served tea and tobacco and treated as honored guests. But after the arrival of the new millennium, the popularity of suona music declined. The market for musicians shrank as newlyweds turned to new trends: Western rock bands, pop singers, folk operas. The suona became passé, even maudlin. “Once the suona sounded, people would think someone must have passed away,” Wang explains.
It’s not hard to see why governments would seek to defend their languages. But some linguists think a staunch anti-English stance may be counterproductive. Truly endangered languages tend to be encroached on mostly by their dominant geographic neighbors, says Selma Sonntag, a political scientist at Humboldt State University who studies language purist movements: “The threat isn’t from English, it’s from whatever the official language is within their area.” Linguist David Crystal, author of “English as a Global Language,” has written about how Welsh-language purism may be furthering an elitism that prevents younger speakers from adopting the tongue. And it’s worth noting that English owes much of its vitality to its long history of borrowing from French, Latin, Arabic, and pretty much any other language it met. “Loanwords...do alter [a language’s] character—but is this a bad thing?” Crystal told me. “Imagine English without French or Latin loanwords. No Shakespeare, for a start.”
Ling rose to become the Director of the General Office, an organ that handles day-to-day logistics and bureaucratic functions of the Communist Party, in 2007, when Hu was the party's General Secretary (i.e., paramount leader). He was initially seen as a promising candidate for promotion to the top leadership at the 18th Party Congress in 2012. However, his political fortunes abruptly took a turn when his 23-year-old son was killed while driving a Ferrari in 2012, an event that caused embarrassment for the party elite. Ling was then politically sidelined.
The recent reforms are not the first time the suona has been subject to the twists and turns of public policy. In the early days after the Communist victory in 1949, Wang’s family band played the suona not only at weddings and funerals but also at state ceremonies for sending recruits off to military service or starting construction on reservoir projects. Suona music was the soundtrack to every important moment. But during the Great Chinese Famine, no one could afford to hire musicians, and the suona was later blacklisted as part of Cultural Revolution campaigns against Confucian heritage. It wasn’t until the reform and opening-up era in the ’80s that the suona was restored to its central role in northeastern culture.
Ling was one of the highest-profile targets (next to Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou) of the anti-corruption campaign following the 18th Party Congress spearheaded by Party General secretary Xi Jinping and central discipline chief Wang Qishan. He was the second sitting "national leader"-level figure to be investigated by the party's anti-graft agency, after CPPCC Vice-Chairman Su Rong. Chinese-language media have linked Ling to a mysterious political network composed of prominent politicians and businesspeople with origins in Shanxi called the Xishan Society.
Heterogeneous catalysis with core-shell structures has been a large area of focus for many years. This paper reviews the most recent work and research in coreshell catalysts utilizing noble metals, specifically gold, as the core within a metal oxide shell. The advantage of the core-shell structure lies in its capacity to retain catalytic activity u...
Hexagonal boron nitride nanosheets (h-BNNs) with rather high specific surface area (SSA) are important two-dimensional layer-structured materials. Here, a solvent-mediated synthesis of h-BNNs revealed a template-free lattice plane control strategy that induced high SSA nanoporous structured h-BNNs with outstanding aerobic oxidative desulfurization...
On September 1, 2012, prior to the transfer of power between Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping at the pivotal 18th Party Congress, Ling was abruptly transferred from his position as General Office chief to become head of the United Front Work Department, an organ considered to be of less importance. This was seen as a demotion for Ling. At the 18th Party Congress held in the fall of 2012, Ling did not gain a seat on the Politburo as expected, nor did he retain his position as Secretary of the Secretariat; this signalled that Ling was excluded from all the major power organs of the party. In March 2013, Ling was elected as one of the Vice-Chairmen of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), barely holding onto his status as a "national leader". In addition, of the 23 candidates standing for confirmation for the CPPCC Vice-Chairmanship, Ling received, by far, the fewest votes in favour. A total of 90 CPPCC delegates voted against Ling, while 22 delegates abstained.
Categories: 1956 birthsLiving peoplePeople's Republic of China politicians from ShanxiCommunist Party of China politicians from ShanxiPoliticians from YunchengMembers of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of ChinaVice Chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative ConferenceExpelled members of the Chinese Communist PartyMembers of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of ChinaMembers of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of ChinaAlternate members of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of ChinaChinese politicians convicted of corruption
Sub-10 nm nanoparticles (NPs) of M(II)-substituted magnetite MxFe3-xO4 (MxFe1-xO•Fe2O3) (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Cu) were synthesized and studied as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in 0.1 M KOH solution. Loaded on commercial carbon support, these MxFe3-xO4 NPs showed the M(II)-dependent ORR catalytic activities with MnxFe3-xO4 being th...