China's curious cult of the mango - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14650945
Fifty years ago, China was plunged into the most chaotic and traumatic decade of its recent history - the Cultural Revolution. During this period, the nation was gripped by a peculiar hysteria: a mania for mangoes. Benjamin Ramm discovers how the fruit became an object of deep veneration, and a vehicle for the promotion of the cult of Chairman Mao.

In 1966 Mao had called on the student Red Guards to rebel against "reactionary" authorities. His aim was to reshape society by purging it of bourgeois elements and traditional ways of thinking. But by the summer of 1968 the country had become engulfed in fighting, as Red Guard factions competed for power.

To quell the forces that he had unleashed, Mao sent 30,000 workers to Qinghua University in Beijing, armed only with their talisman, the Little Red Book. The students attacked them with spears and sulphuric acid, killing five and injuring more than 700, before finally surrendering. Mao thanked the workers with a gift of approximately 40 mangoes, which he had been given the previous day by Pakistan's foreign minister.

They had a huge impact.

BBC link

Image

"Here it is, comrades - the Great Proletarian Mango of Doom! With this secret weapon, we shall crush the running dogs of capitalist-roader revisionism!"

"Ahhh... so...."

#14650960
He thanked 30 000 idiots loyal communists with 40 mangos?

No wonder that fruit got elevated to mythical status.
#14650961
But they were gifts from the Red Emperor-, er, I mean from Chairman Mao, Frollein. They were therefore sacred relics, imbued with the Emper-, er, with Chairman Mao's divine powers.
#14650963
29 960 people never saw these things, let alone taste them. Just goes to show that idiocy idolatry idealism knows no limits.
#14650966
Actually, the workers chartered a plane to take a single mango on tour to be seen by the toiling masses, Frollein. The holy relics were beheld by countless grateful workers and peasants, whose faith in the guiding genius of the Emper-, er, of Chairman Mao was thereby immeasurably strengthened.
#14650988
Yes it was, Frollein. When one of the mangos started to rot, it was pickled in a jar, to be preserved for the veneration of future generations yet unborn....
#14650992
Fucking atheists. Every time somebody comes up with a magic talisman with obvious supernatural powers, loved and adored by the masses, here come the buzz-kill brigade. Well this time you have outsmarted yourself. Mangos have real scientific benefits for those who partake of the holy Mango+. I could give you true facts because I am a doctor. And a Mango+ eater.

Where are they now? Are they the Mango+ eating worker's paradise they once were? No cully, they are not. They are Buick driving, cell phone hugging capitalists. They should have stuck to Mangos+.

amen
#14651124
Potemkin wrote:Yes it was, Frollein. When one of the mangos started to rot, it was pickled in a jar, to be preserved for the veneration of future generations yet unborn....


Nonsense, these mangoes were imbued with powers granted by Empe... I mean Chairman Mao, they will never rot.
#14651181
It is amazing how different cultures take the same idea but then apply it to their own setting. Russians took Marxism and made it into a uniquely Russian type of communism and the Chinese did the same. Venerating mangos did not happen in other socialist states which shows us that regardless of ideology culture will always shape the way that ideology is practiced.
#14651246
The take away point for me is that Pote also listens to Radio 4.

As a teenager, I used to listen not only to Radio 4 but to Radio 3 as well. The amiable upper-middle class amateurishness of it used to amuse me greatly. "I'm terribly sorry, I appear to have played the wrong side of that record...."

I do find this story especially bizarre, I mean, am mango? But the fact is your average communist worker in 60's rural China would probably have never seen the sea.

Precisely. If you think your average rural Southern hick from Tennessee is ignorant and credulous, they've got nothing on rural Chinese peasants during the 1960s.
#14651264
If you think your average rural Southern hick from Tennessee is ignorant and credulous, they've got nothing on rural Chinese peasants during the 1960s.


In the interest of brevity you could have replaced the "average rural Southern hick from Tennessee" with a single word; Republican.
#14651374
The Chinese word for Mango is Mang guo. This literally means "busy pass".

On several occasions I have eaten a great deal of mango. I really like mangos and get them already cut up at Costco*. (Costco is the best place on the planet.) They come in two pound containers. I once ate almost the whole package at one sitting. Busy pass is a wonderfully genteel way of putting how I occupied my time shortly thereafter.

Fortunately for those rewarded there were not enough mangos to cause an issue in this regard. Sometimes we must look for the smallest of blessings.


* If there bad been Costco in China back in the day, Mao would have been humping boxes rather than running the country. It would be impossible to embrace communism if one had access to Costco.
#14651605
Drlee wrote:TI once ate almost the whole package at one sitting. Busy pass is a wonderfully genteel way of putting how I occupied my time shortly thereafter.

Fortunately for those rewarded there were not enough mangos to cause an issue in this regard. Sometimes we must look for the smallest of blessings.



Unfortunately, I have never come across a ripe mango in our supermarkets. Since I don't fancy the taste of turpentine, I eat Papayas instead.
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