Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Five Star Pomposity

It is fairly common to see staff of the more genuine hair dressing salons and of restaurants lining up on the street outside their work premises for a pep talk before opening for the day. You even see them doing silly so-called exercises. But for a totally over-the top experience you have got to get to Liuzhou’s WuXing (Five Star) Department store (柳州五星商业大厦) on a Monday morning between 9 and 9:30.

The large state-owned store has its staff line up outside the building for a grand flag raising ceremony.


A couple of revolutionary type songs are sung, someone makes the usual speech then the flags go up. First the Chinese flag, of course. This is accompanied by the national anthem, of course. Then two company flags (i.e. advertisements) are solemnly and slowly raised to more music while all the staff stand to attention. Well, nearly all. One member of staff is clearly more cynical and expresses it most eloquently.


When that’s over a pseudo-military group of women led by men (of course) marches off into the sunset. Well, to the end of the building, where they all change from their fancy dress and go off to sell stuff.


It is hilarious to watch the pomposity. It’s just a shop! And not a very good one.

. This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 3:23 pm and is filed under Liuzhou Life, Strawberry Fields, Stupidity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Five Star Pomposity”

  1. Jim Mahler Says:

    The goose-step is particularly entertaining — truly SS-worthy. The song (I’d call it a chant) is about how the 5-Star store and Pedestrian Street are making Liuzhou and China prosperous (振兴). One time they had a live marching band — I almost thought I was back in the U.S. at a high school football game — but usually the music is recorded. The one or two cops on duty at that hour salute when the flags are raised (even the commercial flags) but the other spectators mostly stay seated on the planter boxes and the fountain walls.

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Yes, I’ve seen the cops salute too. Missed the marching band! I’m not usually up and out that early. Yes, I agree, it is more of a chant than a song. But still fun to watch. For all the wrong reasons.

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