What is the difference between the happy panda of Chinese tourism and the three pandas in the V&A Museum in London?
The three panda in the V&A (created by a Chinese artist) are named Angry, Smiley and Bruised.
They represent the generation born in China after 1960. (One is ‘smiley’ but in the local culture ‘smiley’ indicates ‘contempt.)
A Chinese lady in Bray explained all this to me in detail. She asks young Chinese coming to Ireland, ‘What do you find different here?’ If they don’t come up with the right answer, she supplies it, ‘ The people here are more open and friendly. They may say they no longer go to church but the values and attitude they have inherited are Catholic. And they do go back to church occasionally.’
She herself became Catholic four years ago, after long consideration.
Now she asks young people, ‘Do you think you are well educated?’ If they say ‘Yes’, she enquires, ‘Do you know the most popular and widely published book in the world is the Bible? If you haven’t read it you can’t say you are educated.’