Saturday, October 1, 2016

Flag Days

October is a pretty political season in Boston Chinatown.

If you are mainstream white American of a younger age that went to China on some tourist trip and you see a lion or Dragon around you might think, "Oh are you celebrating China's Independence day?" and you will totally mean October 1st because that isn't even strange to you, that someone in America would revere a Communist flag, or raise it.

Well at least that's how it is in JP, where there is a Lucy Parson's bookstore and socialists walking around (their actually nice people usually) and many Chinese who are here for their Post docs.



You see for Chinese newcomers that were born under that flag... that's just your flag. You don't even necessarily know about any other flag. You definitely won't learn about it in school in China (unless they've changed that) and you used to be punished severely just for having the KMT flag.

(The U.S. is guilty of stuff like this too. The Puerto Rican flag used to get you ten years in jail.)


But for an older generation of Chinese Americans, people in Hung Mun who were born in the States but actually went back to China to pick up a gun for Sun Yat-Sen and the Republic and the other flag, now called Taiwan's flag... the red flag belongs to F-ing Communist bastards that ruined the country.

And then there are people who are somewhere in between

Anyway, today there is going to be a banquet to celebrate October 1st, the Communist Revolution in China at Hei La Moon. I'll try to sneak in there and get a picture or too. It would be much better though if some friend of mine was going to post pics on Facebook and I could just take it. The flag raising ceremony at City hall was last week or the week before.

Then Next Saturday is Double Ten, the revolution to overthrow the Qing dynasty in 1911. Technically, Mao even celebrated this holiday at some point. But today most people think of it as Taiwan's holiday. IE not China's.

In fact I've talked to Americans at the parade who asked "What is the flag with the sunburst?"

It's all quite confusing.

But flags mean a lot.

You won't see Vietnam's Communist flag in Dorchester. You will see the yellow Republic flag. A country that doesn't even exist any more, more like a nation and an idea in people's hearts and minds. But that was what the Irish held in their hearts for generation in the States too.

The Cape Verdeans have a new and old flag too, without an overthrow of government and even they have arguments.

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