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“Be selfless, moral, two-child Chinese citizens”

Three new propaganda* posters just went up in our neighbourhood, courtesy of the Qingdao Spiritual Civilization Construction Committee Office (青岛市精神文明建设委员会办公室). “Create together a national civilized city!” (共创全国文明城市).

Interestingly, they feature traditional Chinese values, classic Communist values, and a TWO-child family. All at the same time. I don’t know what to make of all that, if anything, but they caught my eye. Translation below each image.

1. Serve the People!


Serve the People!
为人民服务
A person’s life is finite, but, serving people is infinite,
I want to take my finite life, and throw it into the infinite service of others…
人的生命是有限的,可是,为人服务是无限的,
我要把有限的生命,投入到无限的为人服务之中去……
Vigorously promote
大力弘扬
Study Lei Feng, be devoted to other people, enhance yourself
学习雷锋 奉献他人 提升自己
The Volunteer Service Principle
志愿服务理念

2. Become a moral person


Become a moral person
做一个有道德的人
Kong Rong Shares Pears
孔融让梨
(Ancient Chinese fable in which Kong Rong chooses the smallest pear, giving the bigger pears to his brothers. When asked why, he says the older brothers should get the bigger pears because they’re older, and that it’s his responsibility to take care of his younger brother.)
融年四岁时,与诸兄共食梨,辄引小者。
大人问其故,答曰:“我小儿,法当取小者。”

3. Advocate Civilizedness


Advocate a new civilized trend
倡导文明新风
Construct a beautiful homeland together
共建美好家园
Love our Qingdao
爱我青岛

*P.S. – In Chinese, the word propaganda isn’t necessarily negative like it is in English. It basically just means ‘promotion of ideas’. I think we should combine the best of both worlds: use it in all the situations Chinese does, but keep the negative English connotations. So all advertising, political and ideological messaging is propaganda.

P.P.S. –
That’s not just any young revolutionary in the first poster; it’s Lei Feng of Chinese Communist mythology. For more about him, see:

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