Cameron Diaz sorry for not serving the people

2007-06-26 — Good Characters (Leave a message)

Cameron Diaz made a good name for herself in Japan, Taiwan, and China when she visited to promote the movie “Shrek the Third” in May. A month later she, however, made a bad name for herself in Peru and had to apologize because the Communist Chinese military-style bag she wore evoked hurtful memories among Peruvian locals.

The bag had a large red star in the center with some Chinese characters beneath it. She now knows the red star is linked with the communist party and that those characters represented Chairman Mao’s claim “Serve the People.”

This type of mistake is rather common among trendy Westerners nowadays, given the popularity of communist memorabilia as a fashion statement. For people who suffered at the hands of communists, such symbols are not cool, but rather painful reminders of the past.

When you travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong, or China for business, avoid wearing, carrying, or having anything associated with political symbols or slogans. What may seem cool to you could be offensive to the locals. Politics are usually too sensitive and too complex for outsiders to understand.

By the way, we couldn’t help noticing that Cameron Diaz doesn’t have an official Chinese name. A quick online search reveals her name has been transliterated at least 7 different ways:


Imagine having 7 different names!

Serve the People

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