Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Censored coconut

Just to let you see how little I have to worry about, here is a little mystery which popped up today.

The cans pictured (actually it’s the same can photographed on different sides) contain, as you can see, coconut juice – a very popular drink round these parts and one in which I occasionally indulge, myself.

It is also, frequently served at banquets, especially to those too stupid or too female or too foreign to drink baijiu, like all reasonable people do. So entrenched in the banquet system is the coconut juice that it boasts the soubriquet “State Banquet Beverage”, which you can see in English on the can on the left.

However, and herein lies the mystery, when I got home after buying this yesterday, I noticed that someone had very carefully cut two small pieces of paper and stuck them to cover the Chinese words 国宴饮料 at the bottom of the left can and the same words in the centre of the can on the right. They had even taken the trouble to colour  the sticky paper to match the different backgrounds and so look less noticeable (at least they would have been less noticeable if they had stuck them on a bit more straight). The one on the left was black and the one of the right yellow.

国宴饮料 (guó yàn yǐn liào) means “State Banquet Beverage”. For some reason, and I want answers, the beverage’s status has been eradicted from history – at least in Chinese.

I went back to the supermarket today just to check. Sure enough, every can has been censored. And there were a lot of cans and someone had to cut and stick all these erasures, but as I’ve mentioned before one thing Chinese supermarkets never run out of – staff with nothing to do. Or, of course, the censorship could have taken place before the stuff even reached the shops – in the factory, for example. Did they recruit all the school kids in Haikou, Hainan, where they make the stuff, to play sticky paper games in the name of slave labour patriotic education?

But I have to ask, “Is this happening all over China?” “Are there literally millions of supermarket workers or kids who have become co-opted as coconut censors?” “Is there some secret committee of government – The State Soft Drink Censorship Bureau?” Stranger things have happened.

So, I’m refusing to drink the stuff until I get a proper explanation – after all I don’t want to be drinking demoted coconut. If it isn’t good enough for state banquets it isn’t good enough for me. I have my reputation to consider!

And if they get away with censoring coconuts where will it all end? They might even try to censor the internet.

Censored coconut

Tags: , , , . This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 4:21 pm and is filed under Censorship, Food and Drink, Stupidity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Censored coconut”

  1. Charles Says:

    Well I certainly hope you will be keeping “tabs” on this.

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