Thursday, May 20, 2010

China’s new target in Tibet

While the world focuses on China’s monitoring of Internet and SMS activity, news has now emerged that Beijing authorities are clamping down on a medium from the previous century — photocopying machines.

In a report on Wednesday, the BBC wrote that people in Lhasa will have to register their names if they want to make photocopies. From now on, individuals wanting to photocopy documents will have to show their ID cards and have the information recorded. Companies providing copy services will have to register the name and address of the individuals seeking to make copies, the number of copies they want to make and provide the name of the manager in charge of the work.

The authorities, we learn, are particularly concerned about material printed in Tibetan, with less attention paid to material in Chinese. Chinese authorities say the change is aimed at stopping “criminals” carrying out “illegal” activities — in other words, political pamphlets.

Oh yes; China brought civilization to those “barbaric” Tibetans. I wonder if one day we’ll have to do the same in Taiwan (though Taiyu, or Hoklo, isn’t a written language).

7 comments:

David said...

Taiyu or Hoklo is a written language. Just visit your local Presbyterian Church and you can find it being used.

There are several ways of writing Hoklo. The most commonly used is the POJ system of romanisation. It can also be written using Chinese characters. The problem is most people have never received any education in how to write the language and it is not widely used.

J. Michael said...

David: You're absolutely right; I should have written that it is not commonly used, or even known, by the majority of the population.

les said...

There was once a third system created with unique symbols not unlike bopomofo, which was more accurate than POJ and divorced from Hanzi. This was toward the end of the martial law era and the system was suppressed, the creator harassed into early retirement.

Carlos said...

Isn't there too much karaoke in Taiwan to keep it from being written? I understand it's usually done with characters.

dennis said...

next thing you know a person needs to be registered to buy pen and paper, especially if the person intends to write in tibetan lol

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

^___^ Yup, too few people know that Holo writing has a history of at least 125 years (not including the 300-400-year old play scripts written by Sinographs). The first newspaper in Taiwan《台南府城教會報》was initiated in 1885 (later renamed as 台灣教會公報). This is a newspaper printed in Romanized Holo. In 1920s, fictionists like 賴仁聲(Loa Jin-seng)and 鄭溪泮(Tenn Khe-poan)published novels in Holo in Taiwan. At that time, the colloquial Chinese neo-literature campaigned by Lu Xun(魯迅)even hasn't sprouted.

Although people know so little about literature in Holo, we still struggle to vitalize it and make it known by more people. Quite a few books of novels, poetry, and essays have been published after 1980. There are also several blogs written in Holo. You can find mine as follows, and many interesting links on that page:

http://blog.roodo.com/senghian