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  • : freewheeling
  • freewheeling
  • : Blog on being a disabled person, different cultures, diversity, equality, disability, travel, being diaspora Chinese and disabled travel.
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Here are some of my photos. This shows some of my travels.


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Books I am reading

Xiaolu Guo
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
A love story - cultural differences, misunderstandings and yes, I see what she is saying.
Su Tong
Binu and the Great Wall

Binu and the Great Wall

Binu And The Great Wall is a wonderful myth retold in the words of Su Tong, the author of ‘Rice’.  The myth of Binu and how her tears washed away the Great Wall have been passed down through the ages. It is a tale of hardship, brutality and undying love. Su Tong’s version of the myth, brings to the reader the harshness and brutality that led to the constuction of the wall and the terrible effects it had on the common people.

1 juin 2008 7 01 /06 /juin /2008 00:45
From the DS HUM list serv, I was directed to the article below in the Heraldsun.com.au, with the heading
Beijing Olympics guide on Paralympians - 

DISABLED people can be unsocial, stubborn, controlling, and defensive according to an official Beijing Olympics guide.

The Olympic manual for volunteers in Beijing is peppered with patronising comments, noting for example that physically disabled people are "often" mentally healthy. Volunteers at the Olympics and Paralympics are instructed not to call Paralympians or disabled spectators "crippled" or "lame", even if they are "just joking".

(read the rest at Heraldsun.com.au)

The article then comments that "the document, which indicates the Chinese hosts could use a swift education in political correctness," because it "says the optically disabled "seldom show strong emotions".

I am not sure that it is a matter of  political correctness  since the guide/manual is directed at the Chinese volunteers and not the general public. I think it showed that the journalist does not seem to realise that disabled Chinese do not have a great standing in the community and they are often hidden away by their families and thought of as a source of embarrassment. The fact that

Volunteers are instructed never to "stare at their disfigurement".

"A patronising or condescending attitude will be easily sensed by them, even for a brain damaged patient (though he cannot control his limbs, he is able to see and understand like other people).

"Like most, he can read your body language," says the 2008 volunteer guide.

"Show respect when you talk with them.

"Do not use cripple or lame, even if you are just joking.

"Though life has handed many difficulties to them, disabled people are often independent and self-reliant.

"Volunteers should offer assistance on a basis of equality and mutual respect...

"Disabled people can be defensive and have a strong sense of inferiority."

this shows that the Chinese are paying attention to disability awareness to help the volunteers how to  understand  the athletes  - to avoid  incidents such as this:

China's treatment of the disabled has in the past angered swimming great Dawn Fraser, who cited it as one reason she won't be going to Beijing.

She said in April she had seen disabled athletes spat on in the streets in Beijing during university games in the mid-1990s.

I know I was apprehensive the first time I went to China myself about the sort of treatment I might receive myself as a wheelchair user but I was pleasantly surprised - because I was not overly stared at - even in Xinjiang - but was generally left alone and was given the same treatment as my non disabled friends.

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