How to cheer in China

June 08, 2008
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This via a good friend of mine currently working in China: a BBC report suggesting that, even in matters of popular enthusiasm, nothing will be left to chance at the People's Games:

Beijing Olympic chiefs are introducing an official cheer for patriotic spectators to spur on Team China at the Games, Chinese media reports. The authoritative, four-part Olympic cheer, accompanied by detailed instructions, will be promoted on TV, in schools and with a poster campaign. It involves clapping twice, giving the thumbs-up, clapping twice more and then punching the air with both arms. The cheer is accompanied by chants of "Olympics", "Let's go" and "China". The Beijing Olympic Organising Committee has hired 30 cheering squads who will show spectators how it is done at Games stadia, reports Xinhua state media. A committee official said the simple chants and gestures were designed to help spectators cheer for their favourite athletes in a smooth, civilized manner. The Ministry of Education is also arranging special training sessions in schools for the 800,000 students who are expected to attend the Games. Li Ning, president of the Beijing Etiquette Institute, told the Beijing News that the cheer was in line with general international principles for cheering, while at the same time possessing characteristics of Chinese culture.
You can see the results in action here, or brush up your Mandarin with a beautifully illustrated guide here. Repeat after me: , , !