Father Figure?

I remember hearing a senior correspondent with Phoenix Television describe the moment she saw and talked to President Hu at the site of Wenchuan earthquake that she felt like seeing a “father,” assured and overwhelmed by strong feelings. I’ve never talked to a president of any sort, and don’t know how that might feel, but it’s curious that this “father” metaphor seems to appear quite often lately to describe the leaders of states in countries like China and Egypt. I wonder how long this family metaphor will work well in these countries. I mean, certainly it’s not working in Egypt any more for I remember hearing an Egyptian young woman among the protesters say that she felt Mubarak was very condescending when he said that he was the “father” of the nation and Egyptians were like his “children.” But it seems that it still has a life in China. Perhaps.

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Jin Zhao


  1. You write so fast! I think it’s just an instinct wording from Chinese tradition, like “父母官”, hehe.

    • Funny you’re the second person who said this to me today — I write fast. It really depends on what I write. You know what I mean…

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