In my previous blog entry about Lin Miaoke (林妙可) singing with the voice of Yang Peiyi (楊沛宜) in the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, I failed to mention that the Chinese government (through that one Politburo member) was indirectly sending negative messages to little girls across China that, even at the age of 7, if you don’t look “flawless”, your hard work and talent are still not good enough.
As if the acute gender imbalance problem (China has millions more men than women, see the “Demographic time bomb in China” story) is not enough, the action of rejecting Yang further send wrong messages to females in China.
It is also interesting to see how the Chinese government’s attempts to cleanse the news reports of this scandal. The Hong-Kong-based newspapers Mingpao and Apple Daily have some informative coverage in Chinese here (開幕禮以假亂真 天籟童音有代唱 腳印煙花是錄製), here (29個腳印煙花 28個屬電腦3D), here (「政治局委員 最後一刻令換人」美聯社引述音樂總監), and here (幕後代唱者被指不可愛遭犧牲 林妙可天籟歌聲作假). Compare the above to a cleansed official version here (《歌唱祖國》演唱者另有其人 楊沛宜幕後獻聲), pay attention to what information was skipped and the tone used.
I personally think that Yang Peiyi (楊沛宜) should be given a chance to perform at the closing ceremony because she is a beautiful little 7 year old with a lovely voice.
Of course, the deep-seeded issues that drove a country to pursue “excellence” by using computer generated effects to create 28 out of 29 firework displays, and substituting the face of a 7 years old girl, may not be easily overcome in a few days. But one can hope. In fact, one must hope.