“I am proud to be a brick in the statistics building of the PRC”

The Wall Street Journal’s Sky Canaves reports on some of the festivities in store as China gets ready to celebrate the current government’s founding: As part of the myriad activities planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, the normally staid National Bureau of Statistics ...

582724_090803_china_ticker25.jpg
582724_090803_china_ticker25.jpg

The Wall Street Journal's Sky Canaves reports on some of the festivities in store as China gets ready to celebrate the current government's founding:

As part of the myriad activities planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, the normally staid National Bureau of Statistics is letting its hair down a bit.

The Wall Street Journal’s Sky Canaves reports on some of the festivities in store as China gets ready to celebrate the current government’s founding:

As part of the myriad activities planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, the normally staid National Bureau of Statistics is letting its hair down a bit.

The NBS has launched a call for submissions of writings celebrating the PRC’s big birthday as part of campaign called “Statistical Feelings: Together We Go – Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of New China.” The campaign is intended to boost the patriotic feelings and confidence of statisticians in their work, according to the bureau’s Web site.

Excited yet? Canaves and the WSJ team translate and provide a look inside the minds and patriotism of Chinese statisticians: 

So far, about a dozen entries have been posted, encompassing the genres of prose, poetry and song. One essay, submitted by an employee of the NBS industrial division, is titled “I Am Proud to Be a Brick in the Statistics Building of the PRC,” and reads like a prose poem, each paragraph leading with the title’s refrain.

A poem, “Love the Homeland, Love Statistics,” includes the following stanza:

Life
Some mock me for doing statistics
Some loathe me and statistics
Some don’t understand what statistics are
Why is it that statistics
Put a calm smile on my face?
Because of statistics
I can solve the deepest mysteries
Because of statistics
I will not be lonely again, playing in the data
Because of statistics
I can rearrange the stars in the skies above
Because of statistics
My life is different, more meaningful
I love my life, my statistics

I have a sudden thirst for data. 

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

<p> Michael Wilkerson, a journalist and former Fulbright researcher in Uganda, is a graduate student in politics at Oxford University, where he is a Marshall Scholar. </p>

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.