Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exciting Mobs

“Three months after liberation of the town the drums were still beating. Sometimes from the grounds of the Technical College; or from the Mission School at the East Gate; often from the soldiers’ camp outside the South Wall. When I left they were beating. They beat today still as through the main street the open lorries roll slow, bringing the enemies of the people to swift death, while the crowds hiss and roar and thunder hatred and applause, and the cheer-leaders raise their high-pitched voices in the shriek of slogans, and fire-crackers are let off as for a festival, and the dancers, the dancers dance, dance, dance. I wonder, Sen, whether Master Confucius heard this five-beat harmony and deemed it a fit measure to regulate the emotions of mankind? I wonder whether eight hundred years before that gentle Jew, the Christ, was born, our ancestors held their Spring Festival and their Fertility Rites to this dancing and this beat? It is from deep within our people, this bewitchment of drum and body. I feel it surge up from my belly, where all true feeling lies; strong and compelling as love, as if the marrow of my bones had heard it millions of days before this day.”
Han Suyin, A Many Splendored Thing

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