Canada’s Globe and Mail recently ran a piece on the impact of modernity and tourism on the Mosuo (摩梭族), a matriarchal tribe that resides at and around Yunnan’s Luguhu Lake (泸沽湖). In China, a Matriarchy under Threat has now been translated, edited and published as 《云南摩梭人遭遇现代化挑战》in the August 17, 2011 edition of Cankao Xiaoxi (参考消息).
Cankao is a respected and influential Chinese-language digest of the world press with a long history, and in many cities across China it sells out every day before noon. Virtually no English is used and little or no content is added. But references deemed unbecoming to China’s image are often “airbrushed.”
As usual in my pieces on Cankao Xiaoxi, I run the original English copy immediately below. For the benefit of English speakers who cannot read the Chinese version published and distributed throughout China, I
cross out the English words that were deleted when the article was translated into Chinese, and indicate any added copy (normally just for readability’s sake) by putting it [in brackets]. This way one can better see how Cankao’s editors “package” foreign copy for domestic consumption.
To summarize the deletions you’ll find below:
- All mentions of the Communist Party, and government policy aimed at changing Mosuo behavior, have been deleted
- References to “male lovers” have been heavily edited
- Some phrases that imply that Han visitors treat the Mosuo as curiosities have been deleted
- The writer’s explanation as to why the society evolved into a matriarchal one has been deleted Read the rest of this entry »