Hundred flowers campaign

🏷  Chinese pun · name   —   by Gerry · Feb 2022 · 234 words

After the “communists” took power in China, they started the so-called hundred flowers campaign, where citizens were encouraged to openly state their opinions about the new government, even if they were critical. After many had spoken out, these informations were then used to crack down on critics. The movement’s name may be a nasty pun: The original Chinese phrase 百花齐放,百家争鸣 bǎihuā qífàng, bǎijiā zhēngmíng “100 flowers bloom, 100 schools contend” puns with 败坏起反,败捷烝民 bàihuài qǐfǎn, bàijié zhēngmín “undermine a revolt, defeat the people”.

(The name of the movement is supposed to refer to the ancient Warring States era, but I haven’t found out if the actual phrase “100 flowers” was also really used in that era.)

百花齊放,百家爭鳴 ; 百花齐放,百家争鸣 bǎihuā qífàng, bǎijiā zhēngmíng : a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend (idiom); refers to the classical philosophic schools of the Warring States period 475-221 BC; but adopted for Mao’s campaign of 1956 — Chinese (CEDICT)

Chinese bàihuài qǐfǎn = undermine a rising revolt; bàijié zhēngmín = defeat the people

敗壞 ; 败坏 bàihuài : to ruin; to corrupt; to undermine — Chinese (CEDICT)

: to rise, to go up, to move up — Chinese (Wikt)

fǎn : to revolt; to oppose — Chinese (Wikt)

; bài : to defeat; to tarnish; to ruin; to destroy — Chinese (Wikt)

jié : to win, to be victorious, to succeed — Chinese (Wikt)

烝民 zhēngmín : people; the masses — Chinese (CEDICT)

🏷  Chinese pun · name