Mao-Themed Wedding in Shanxi, Chinese Netizen Reactions


From NetEase:

Shanxi Post-80s Generation Master’s Degree Graduates Hold “Mao-Style Wedding”

On October 6, post-80s generation college master’s degree graduates Yue Tinghe and Ge Pinghua decided to hold a red wedding Ceremony [similar to “red tourism”, a wedding ceremony with Chinese Communist themes] attended by friends and family as well as red netizens, with one red netizen Zhang Sanxi bringing a wall scroll featuring a poem by Chairman Mao in his calligraphy, and all wedding guests were given a “serve the people” badge [as a wedding favor]. After the groom and bride paid their respects to each other, they swore to “forever always believe in Mao Zedong Thought, and pass down Mao Zedong Thought down generation after generation”, while a Mao Zedong impersonator loudly quoted Mao Zedong’s famous saying that the youth are like the 8-9 o’clock sun.



A Chinese couple in Shanxi province hold a "Mao Style" wedding.








Comments from NetEase:

懂球老师傅 [网易江苏省苏州市网友]:

All their education has gone to the dogs [gone to waste].

在那大菊花盛开的地方 [网易日本网友]:

I reckon they’ll be useless [members of society].

群93778370欢迎你 [网易湖北省荆门市网友]:

Let me give a verse:
First [vertical] scroll: A pair of fresh youths.
Second [vertical] scroll: Two old-fashioned wooden skulls.
Horizontal scroll: Zombies.

aHa0 [网易陕西省西安市网友]:

This is you guys following a path to your own doom.

發纳尼 [网易浙江省金华市义乌市网友]:

Chairman Mao came out to host [their wedding]…

happy2004 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

And they’re TMD graduate students, such retards. I really wonder how they got their diplomas.

毛粪的天敌 [网易四川省内江市网友]:

Wearing a Western suit, a wedding dress, and posting scrolls. Over 40 years ago, they would’ve been the target of Destroying the Four Olds.

无人相伴 [网易浙江省湖州市网友]:

Quote: If it isn’t men holding women down, it’s women holding men down.

打倒1群5毛 [网易上海市手机网友]:

Those with master’s degrees sure are different. He’s indicating that he can marry additional wives.


It’s all young people cursing/criticizing Mao. Among netizens, the young make up the majority. But people who are 50 and older look at things differently from the youth. I don’t understand why there’s such a huge difference in perspectives/views between those who lived in that era and those who didn’t.

拉马西亚影视学院应届生 [网易内蒙古呼伦贝尔市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Shows that the younger generation is not so easy to deceive/con anymore…

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  • lacompacida

    Follow Mao’s example. Have four wives.

    • Sophia Dalke

      Well Dr. Sun Yat-sen was the one who set that example for the Chairman… :P

      • Fiddle

        I prefer calling him Sun Zung-sang

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Uh. 5 picutres down. Mao’s lips seem to become much redder. Almost like he just got out of a drag queen bar and forgot to wipe the lipstick off.

    • slob

      Mrs Maotfire

  • ptptp

    Did the bride and groom denounce their parents? Did everyone go home and built kilns in their backyards to make steel?

  • AbC

    At least most of commenters have some idea of Mao’s character and don’t take in everything taught to them in primary school.
    Anyone graduating from the same university as these newlyweds should consider burning their degrees.

    • don mario

      not enough though, its a disgrace that his photo can still be displayed in this day and age. the brainwashing is strong in china.

  • guest

    Whatever floats their boat…. When to a red-theme restaurant in Qin Huang Dao, in 2006, where they had red guard singing, something to make you proud and revolutionary, apart from the chaos, destruction and loss of life…

    The funny thing about it was when the female red guards came one singing, patrons, or the more regular ones, would buy bunches of flowers off the walls and walk on stage pretending to be drunk and then give them to the singers.

  • Kai

    I’m not sure what to be more annoyed at: the tackiness of the wedding or how they couldn’t get aspect ratios right.

  • Karze

    Yeh sleep with under aged girls every Wednesday like Chairman MAO.

  • Karze

    Mao was the biggest butcher of all times.

    • Alex Dương

      Tens of millions of Chinese died during the Great Leap Forward not because of deliberate, intentional government policy to kill the masses but because of sheer incompetence.

      • Zack Snyder

        Incompetent because no one would disagree with Mao’s policy unless the person wants to be “purged”. So it is Mao’s fault in a way.

        • Alex Dương

          I agree that he’s to be blamed and he bears substantial fault for the Great Leap Forward. I only wanted to mention that it wasn’t a “hey, let’s eliminate 5% of the population” decision; it was a “hey, here’s this quarter-baked idea I thought of that will make us rich!” decision.

          • David

            He starts his career with taking 85,000 troops on a walk that kills 90% of them. You may want to give second thoughts to making this guy (who survived by riding a horse most of the way) your leader. And it only got worse from there.

          • Alex Dương

            Pity that the KMT of the 1930s and 1940s was so horribly corrupt.

          • David

            They were terrible (by today’s standards) but history is what it is and we must all live with the results.

          • Alex Dương


        • don mario

          anyone who told him whats up got taken out. how about that 100 flowers movement or whatever it was called? he asked people to openly criticize the government to exercise democracy..then he murdered all the people who spoke out!

      • Irvin

        A society cannot be destroyed without, without first being destroyed within. Chainman mao is only one man, there’s only so much one man can do. If no one followed him he couldn’t do anything, all of our suffering, if we seeks someone to blame we should first look into a mirror.

        • don mario

          he was good at being a dictator, what else is there to say? no need to make excuses for a freaking evil maniac.

      • don mario

        it was pretty damn deliberate.

        • Alex Dương

          I’m unaware of any evidence that Mao intentionally set out to kill 5% of the population. It arose as a consequence from his “get rich quick” scheme. That’s what I meant by “sheer incompetence.”

          • don mario

            I suggest you do some further reading.

            ‘Mao was quoted as saying in Shanghai in 1959: “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”

            Doesn’t get much more deliberate than that.

            They also had reserves locked up while starving people outside begged for food and were given nothing.

            The commune cadres were in charge of giving food to whom they saw fit. many abused the power and let people they had differences simple die of starvation. basically intentional murder.

            There are plenty of cases that show mao for being the ruthless maniac that he was. it’s naive to think that he was not responsible. he was totally cool with sacrificing countless people to get the shortcut to development that he wanted..

          • Alex Dương

            I said “I’m unaware of any evidence that Mao intentionally set out to kill 5% of the population.” You give a quote from 1959. But the Great Leap Forward started before 1959. You’d have to find a quote from 1958 or earlier where Mao admitted that the goal of the Great Leap Forward was to kill about 1/20th of the population.

            And I never said Mao wasn’t responsible. I said it wasn’t deliberate; it came from sheer incompetence. That doesn’t absolve him from responsibility.

            If you get lost while driving by accident, you are still responsible for getting lost. But you didn’t get lost on purpose. See the difference?

          • don mario

            I’d say you are being naive to say that. the intentions of a fast development that he had, the ruthless nature of the man and the extreme measures he took would say that yes sacrificial deaths were expected to achieve what he wanted to.

            He was a maniac but he was not a fool, he was a smart guy. its pretty silly to just say that he just made a big oopsie by killing millions upon millions..

          • Alex Dương

            Find a quote from 1958 or earlier, then.

          • don mario

            the quote i already put should of been enough. but hey, if you want to believe mao was just a big nincompoop so you can feel ‘right’ be my guest..

          • Alex Dương

            I didn’t change the goalposts; I said “intentionally set out.” A quote dated from after the program already started doesn’t necessarily indicate that was the goal going in.

            Mao wasn’t an idiot, but I think you are forgetting that this wasn’t the only “I didn’t think that through all the way” mistake he made. Less than ten years earlier, he wrongly thought that the UN’s 1950 ceasefire offer in Korea was a sign of weakness. All of his top generals advised him to take it, but he thought the PVA could conquer South Korea.

          • don mario

            you have a pointless argument. its obvious that he intentionally set out from the get go to sacrifice people to achieve what he wanted. well, you are obviously sticking to your point of view so i will leave you with my initial thought: do some further reading.

          • Alex Dương

            If it’s “obvious,” then provide a quote from 1958 or earlier. Don’t ask me to do your work for you; that’s the pinnacle of laziness.

          • Kai

            He’s relying on this:


            Chang and Halliday argue that “Mao had actually allowed for many more deaths. Although slaughter was not his purpose with the Leap, he was more than ready for myriad deaths to result, and had hinted to his top echelon that they should not be too shocked if they happened.”[90] Democide historian R.J. Rummel had originally classified the famine deaths as unintentional.[91] In light of evidence provided in Chang and Halliday’s book, he now believes that the mass dyings associated with Great Leap Forward constitute democide (murder).[92]

            According to Frank Dikötter, Mao and the Communist Party knew that some of their policies were contributing to the starvation.[93] Foreign minister Chen Yi said of some of the early human losses in November 1958:[94]

            “Casualties have indeed appeared among workers, but it is not enough to stop us in our tracks. This is the price we have to pay, it’s nothing to be afraid of. Who knows how many people have been sacrificed on the battlefields and in the prisons [for the revolutionary cause]? Now we have a few cases of illness and death: it’s nothing!”

            During a secret meeting in Shanghai in 1959, Mao demanded the state procurement of one-third of all grain to feed the cities and satisfy foreign clients, and noted that “If you don’t go above a third, people won’t rebel.” He also stated at the same meeting:[95]

            “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”

            One of the citations leads here, with the below excerpt:

            Thus, I believed that Mao’s policies were responsible for the famine, but he was misled about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Therefore, I argued, this was not a democide. Others, however, have so counted it, but I thought this was a sloppy application of the concepts of mass murder, genocide, or politicide (virtually no one used the concept of democide). They were right and I was wrong.

            From the biography of Mao, which I trust (for those who might question it, look at the hundreds of interviews Chang and Halliday conducted with communist cadre and former high officials, and the extensive bibliography) I can now say that yes, Mao’s policies caused the famine. He knew about it from the beginning. He didn’t care! Literally. And he tried to take more food from the people to pay for his lust for international power, but was overruled by a meeting of 7,000 top Communist Party members.

            This is a guy who initially felt Mao was being misled and was convinced that Mao actually knew, and apparently didn’t care.

            I’m not sure I’d go so far.

            Apart from the Shanghai quote being made in 1959 AFTER the his policies were already in motion and thus not dispositive of Mao “setting out” to kill people, the problem with the Shanghai quote is that lacks context. A very good argument about this is made here (try to see past the source and evaluate the merits of the argument itself — also, more reading here).

            So we see Mao complaining about the lack of consultation with the masses concerning industrial plans. Then we see Mao asking for the number of Great Leap Forward projects to be cut in half. Then he makes the controversial comment.

            There is nothing here to suggest Mao is seriously proposing to let anyone starve to fulfil his plans. What we see here are notes of some of the comments Mao made in a debate over policy. It seems like he is responding to the reports or statements of others but we only have his comments here, we do not know the content of these reports or other statements . We do not know, therefore, quite why Mao made his comment about people dying. So is it sensible to take this comment literally, as Dikotter appears to do? Is Mao really saying that under the Great Leap Forward plans he is criticising, 90 million people, for example, would starve to death so he wants to cut the number of Great Leap Forward projects down to 500, so only 45 million people, for example, starve to death? What is more, at the same time he is proposing to consult the masses and to have a plan for industrial growth that actually comes from the masses-‘the mass line’. Would Mao really have been saying there needs to be greater consultation among the people about plans intended to starve tens of millions of them to death? It hardly seems likely that this is what Mao is saying. It appears that Dikotter’s way of thinking about the whole issue has prevented him interpreting this document in an objective manner.

            What is far more likely is that Mao is making a sarcastic comment about plans that have not been consulted on and go too far. There is good evidence for this because four months before at the Wuchang conference, when Mao had also talked of the need to scale back Great Leap Forward plans, he is recorded as warning that no would should die as a result of the Great Leap Forward. Crucially he is recorded as making a rather hyperbolic comment at Wuchang about half of China dying while warning his audience not to go too far with their Great Leap Forward projects.

            Mao is quoted as saying at the Wuchang Conference:

            ‘In this kind of situation, I think if we do [all these things simultaneously] half of China’s population unquestionably will die; and if it’s not a half, it’ll be a third or ten percent, a death toll of 50 million people… If with a death toll of 50 million, you didn’t lose your jobs, I at least should lose mine; [whether I would lose my] head would be open to question. Anhui wants to do so many things, it’s quite all right to do a lot, but make it a principle to have no deaths.’

            Then a little later in the same discussion Mao says: ‘As to 30 million tons of steel, do we really need that much? Are we able to produce [that much]? How many people do we have to mobilize? Could it lead to deaths?'(3).

            When we put the two statements together we can see that Mao’s comment about half of China dying was something he tended to say when he was angry or worried about over-ambitious or undemocratic plans in the Great Leap Forward. According to the quote from the Wuchang Conference, it is quite clear that Mao wants no deaths at all due to the Great Leap Forward, he certainly was not prepared to risk tens of million deaths as some are trying to claim.

            In short, the argument is that the quote was taken out of context, and I’m inclined to strongly agree. It was a triage metaphor, that it’s better to devote what resources you have to the most good they will do, rather than trying to do everything at once and having nothing succeed.

            Mao expected friction and losses (including in lives) from the implementation of (and resistence to) his policies, but no, he did not deliberately set out to kill the masses. He understood and accepted that there would be costs to change, but that’s the concept of accepting collateral damage as a practical fact, not the concept of intentional murder.

            So don mario…

            No, Alex Dương’s argument is valid. You are sabotaging meaningful discussion about Mao’s culpability in the Great Leap Forward famine by unnecessarily villifying him beyond what historical scholarship can arguably support.

            There is scholarship that suggests Mao was misled AND may have turned a blind eye to the deaths his policies were causing, but there is no scholarship that presents a compelling argument of a “deliberate, intentional government policy to kill the masses” by Mao.

            Alex made a very specific statement. At best, you’re straw-manning him.

            Mao is ultimately guilty for his bad policies and failure to respond effectively to the disasters his policies were major contributing factors to. To the extent that he was misled, he is still responsible for the system he surrounded himself with that provided him poor information. To the extent that he chose to believe one explanation for the phenomenon he was confronted with over another explanation, his judgement could also be blamed. He is ultimately responsible for the deaths he contributed to, to the extent that he did. As the ruler of the country, he’s ultimately responsible, just like the CEO or board of directors of a company is for the company’s malfeaseance. At the same time, we shouldn’t ignore how much responsibility other people bore, and how much their idiocy contributed to the tragedy. But yes, Mao is ultimately responsible.

            However, there’s a difference between laying responsibility at the paramount leader’s feet and villifying him as intentionally, deliberately, consciously out to kill the masses, or suggesting he literally was willing to accept 50% of the population dying. That’s just straw-manning the guy and distracting from seriously holding him accountable for what he’s responsible for. Instead of everyone arriving at a consensus on how his governance in the matter was idiotic and how institutions need to be set up to avoid an encore performance, we’re left arguing over unnecessary hyperboles ascribing nonexistent malicious intent.

            Speak in fair measure and we can move forward. Insist on prejudicial demonizations and we’re left running in place.

          • Karze

            Mao did kill the Chinese president and many other high ranking officials by deliberately starving and not giving medical care for seriously sick political prisoners.

            The mindless great leap forward was nothing but great disaster backward as it starved millions to death. The cultural revolution was launched to attack and destroy those who disagreed with Mao view of world.

      • Karze

        When officials compliant about the great leap forwards Mao launched cultural revolution to attack those who sincerely who made an honest judgement of the great leap forward.

  • Zappa Frank

    that great.. it’s a pity I didn’t think about it for my wedding…

  • mr.wiener

    “Red Wedding”… why was the first thing that came to my head: Game of thrones?

    Please note. I’m well aware red is the traditional color of weddings in China. I’ve just been ruined by pop culture.

    • Guang Xiang

      Dammit, totally didn’t cross my mind even after reading the entire series two times. Stupid Martin, where’s your sixth book already?

  • must touch brain

    Similar to a Christian wedding but with God replaced by the likes of Mao, a smoker who was balding and overweight. We can all choose our personal gods but it might make you look stupid.

  • Insomnicide

    Some people are just masochists. You beat them up and they come running back for more. It’ll take a few more decades of opening up, reform and cultural revival before people like these realize the inappropriateness of their idolization for someone who left deep scars on Chinese society.

    • David

      or Maosochists?

      • Insomnicide

        Ah, you beat me to it.

    • don mario

      yea, great point. same thing happened in germany too right…wait, what?

  • Daryl

    I want to say that it’s no different to getting married by an Elvis impersonator, but Elvis wasn’t responsible for the forceful implementation of a flawed political regime and the millions of resulting deaths, so … it’s different, it’s very different.

  • Foreign Devil

    Was just thinking the other day about the absurdity of having chairman Mao portrait over Tiananmen square. Modern China stands for everything Mao tried to root out. Like USA China is ruled by financial/corporate interests.

    • Alex Dương

      Yep. Ideologically, Mao ended up losing the Civil War.

    • guest

      Black and white cats…… So the story goes.

    • don mario

      it really is ridiculous.

  • donscarletti

    If I had to choose between a wedding hosted by a Mao Zedong lookalike or a bride who looks this ugly even after professional hair and makeup, I would go with the first option.

  • FYIADragoon

    Better have had his portrait hanging from the ceiling of the wedding chamber…Also lol at people thinking a masters degree means anything in regards to intelligence….

    • Alex Dương

      Well, a high school diploma doesn’t mean what it used to, and these days, that arguably also applies to a bachelor’s too.

    • guest

      I always thought MBA in China mean Married but available.

  • Paul Schoe

    I enjoyed this remark: “Wearing a Western suit, a wedding dress, and posting scrolls. Over 40 years ago, they would’ve been the target of Destroying the Four Olds.“.
    Such a correct observation.

    • Mihel

      China invented western suits and wedding dressed. Nothing wrong here.

      • Paul Schoe

        As Insomnicide also indicates, this couple has the education level, and wear the type of clothes, that show an ambition that would have made them most likely victims from the policies of the man that they now glorify.

        It is shocking that their older family members do not point out this discrepency and re-assuring that several of the Chinese commentators show an approach that demonstrates more awareness.

    • Insomnicide

      They are also university educated, they would have been denounced and sent down to the countryside for labour.

  • Here in the Western world, we call these kind of people “faggots” not because we hate gay people, but because we use the word to identify incredibly hypocritcal and dumb people. In this case, I despise such red wedding. I wonder if there’s an “Imperial wedding” in Japan? But I have never seen one before. Alex Duong, Kai, or Mr. Wiener, can you tell me if the majority of Chinese citizens are ignorant about Mao or not? A lot of the articles on CS shows that mainlanders are ignorant. But that’s because CS is selective journalism.

    • Zappa Frank

      if you read comments of Chinese people usually appear to be extremely aware of what Mao did. This is the reason why such article became popular on the web in china I guess, to criticize it.
      Of course, among Chinese people there are still some who praise Mao, and if you think about farmers that have been somehow excluded by the development of china is not even so strange, but the same is everywhere, in Italy there are people who still praise Mussolini, in Russia people who praise Stalin an so on..

      • don mario

        disagree. extremely aware is not accurate. the official policy is that mao did 70% good and 30% bad. so yes, most people know he did some fuck ups. now the true extent of the damage he caused is not widely known as they skewed the facts when teaching them in school. if they all knew the true version of events that happened in china i don’t think maos picture could still be up because he fucked over the peasants that was supposed to be supporting big time. his image is actually well protected in china.

    • Alex Dương

      I agree with Frank. Take a look at the translated comments again. Several point out the irony of the theme with the event.

    • mr.wiener

      Selective perhaps, but the selection was done by Chinese netizins. CS shows stories that are trending on the Chinese interwebs. The majority of the comments , by Chinese about this style of wedding, were negative.

    • David

      Where are you from? “Here in the western world”? I have never heard the term Faggot used as anything other than a pejorative name to insult gay people.

      • Jannick Slavik

        Joji probably needs some time with a shrink. Sure sounds like there are some issues there

      • The term, “faggot” or other variants such as “newfag” are often used on the internet, multiplayer games, social networks, and IRC. It is also widely used in the western anime community as well.

  • commander

    A heap of derisive comments among Chinese netizens seems to show that Mao’s philosophy has no longer found avid supporters of its relevancy in contemporary Chinese society, with many young people dismissing Mao’s great experiments for the communist nation–Great Leapforward Movement in the 1950s and Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, both of which entailed in massive deaths–as something of a past in the world’s second largest economy, where for ordinary people, communism is regarded more as a means to advance their career than as a lifetime conviction to fight for.

    This shift in youth assessment of Mao raises the question: What does the communist ideology means for chinese people, many of whom believe that they live in a capitalistic society with heavy government regulations which are no obstacle if they abide by communist party rules?

    This crucial question is deeply intertwined with the fate of the Chinese one party-dominated system facing the grave challege of how to tackle runway wealth disparities and deeply-ingrained corrupt ties between government officials and business people.

    Who knows the newly wed couple may try to find some answers to this question in Mao’s governing philosophy.

  • Heck, that has already been done in Chicago’s Chinatown with Lao Hunan:

  • Hiz Oku

    lol at the first comment from NetEase “All their education has gone to the dogs”
    it’s ok though, they’ll just eat the dogs to get it back.. :D

  • don mario

    theres a quote he said in a secret meeting. something like half the people should die so the other half can eat their fill.

    come on, he knew what he was doing. dude was a power hungry maniac.

  • Total idolatry… we are to have no other god but the Great I Am, the One who has proven himself, made us, and gracefully given us eternal life, yet instead we turn to “gods” that will fail us, made of human hands, pride and esteem.

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