The Spring Festival is a well known event in the Chinese culture through which its citizens get the opportunity to learn how China as a country is viewed both locally and by other states. Traditionally meant for Han Chinese people, the Spring Festival has now been transformed into a national holiday by the government and it is now celebrated by all Chinese ethnic groups (Real 1999).
The festival has ensured that Chinese traditions have been handed down from the ancient times to the modern generation. The traditions have also undergone constant reinvention as well as being turned into various cultural practices and products. The practices and products include the ‘Spring Festival eve gala’ that appears on the China Central Television (CCTV).
The gala event has since then achieved a lot in trying to retain the Chinese traditional culture and enhance the Chinese identity of students in foreign countries like England.
The media has actively build China’s political practices, as well as its cultural and social practices. This has been achieved by the role played by the gala in educating the Chinese citizens. The festival has led to massive public awareness on the Chinese culture (Bell 2008)
The culture movement led to the realization of the importance of the support received from the mass media and the role the popular culture played in reaching the nationalists. New culture forms like the stage dramas, films, and carton magazines have become common in the urban centres.
The CCTV among the other forms of mass media dominates the China Waves as it is designed to unify the nation through entertainment that is culturally appreciated, informative, has official news presentation and is for official dialect use (Benton 1998)
The CCTV debut broadcasting live the Spring Eve gala changed the family togetherness traditional festival making it a distinctive national character. (Zhao 1998). The influence of the festive greatly expanded and spread the traditional Chinese culture in the entire nation and beyond.
According to Zhao (1998, p. 46), the gala has enhanced the traditional Chinese culture which was known for being oriented on family basis as well as merging the image of the Chinese nation to be one community.
The Chinese culture is no longer bounded by its physical territory according to Tu (1994). The image of an inter-national family has spread globally through the gala. The result is a Chinese ethnic Han nation which is at the center while the other outer layers spread globally (CCTV 1984-2007).
The stretch was from the 56 Chinese ethnic groups found in the mainland of China, to the Chinese nationalists found in Macao, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and later overseas to the Chinese diasporas all over the world. By the year 2001, the television gala had come up with a cultural space that become popular and subtle so as to create a ‘greater China’ in the minds of the audience.
The CCTV gala objective since its establishment has remained to be the mobilization of views that are popular and patriotic to the Chinese culture. This resulted to the solidification of the China’s 56 ethnic groups found within its physical territory to extended the Chinese family across its geographic boundaries to Chinese communities (Zhao 1998)
The festive was out to represent the cultures of the minority groups. These minority cultures get the chance to show their traditions during gala occasions in different exploitation such as cultural, commercial and political. In relation to politics, the gala preached its concern about unity and harmony promoting a harmonic ethnic myth in modern China.
The minority people and cultures through the gala have now stood out as the main selling tools of the Chinese culture both within the country and internationally. The culture of the minority groups has since then been familiarized regarding its cultural fabrication in modern China (Tang & Parish 2000)
Despite civilization and the cultures of the minority, the gala has ensured there is an increasing interest in Chinese culture in an effort to keep Chinese minority culture intact and unique for its artistic popularity, tourism, and the way its markets its culture.
Dancing and singing are the main ways in which the gala enhances the Chinese culture of both the minority and majority groups. During the festive, several programs like minority performances were included. Such programs are used as cultural platform of Chinese performers from different ethics who are always dressed in the festive costumes (Smith 1995)
Although the minority cultural groups are found in different locations due to the geographical distances and cultural diversity, the CCTV gala assembles the groups to be one common piece. The gala festive has also ensured that performers from the minority groups use their own languages during performances but have Chinese it translated into the national language below the.
The festival has also enhanced the academic culture especially to those students in foreign countries. This has been made possible by the broadcasts via the Internet ensuring students in foreign countries like England are able to follow the gala programs. This has led to intercultural interaction between the Chinese students and students from the western countries (Real1999).
This culture made it possible for the western educational tradition to be passed down to the daily Chinese culture, both contemporary and traditional. More than eight thousands diasporic students in United Kingdom view the Spring Eve gala every year so as to interact with people from their homeland and continue to learn more about their culture.
This ensures the students are not influenced by the western culture to the extent of forgetting their own. The students in foreign countries also follow the political situation keenly and pay much attention to the cultural citizenship or their complex identity formation. A large number of Chinese students are neither concerned with their political issues in relation to diaporac Chinese nor diaoporic subjects (Lull 1991)
Both the traditional cultural and social imagination of the Chinese people has been ubiquitous in both ethnoscapes and mediascapes during the Spring Festival. The festival since its introduction has remained a unique festival in China and is regarded as the most exploited phenomena in terms of culture. The festival is out to advocate for the Chinese culture.
It has been endorsed officially as the vision of multi-ethic and international festive but still unites Chinese families. The Chinese culture is considered to be an imagined community that is deterritorialised and mobile. China is no longer bound by its physical boundaries but its cultures.
The foreign students are now updated on the current developments in their countries as well as having the chance to learn more about their culture through this gala event. (Hong 1999)
Bell, D 2008, China’s new Confucianism: Politics and everyday life in a changing society, Princeton University Press, New York
Benton, G 1998, The Chinese in Europe, Macmillan: St. Martin’s Press, New York
CCTV. 1984-2007. ‘The Spring Festival Gala.’ China International Television Corporation.
Hong, J 1999, The Internationalization of television in China: The evolution of ideology, society, and media since the reform, Praeger London and Westport, CT
Lull, J 1991, China Turned On: Television, reform, and resistance, Routledge, New York, NY
Real, M 1996, Exploring Media Culture: A guide, Sage Thousand Oaks, CA
Real, R1999, Super Media: A cultural studies approach, Sage Newbury Park, CA
Smith, D 1995, Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era, Polity Press Cambridge, UK
Tang, W. & Parish, L 2000, Chinese Urban Life under Reform: The Changing Social Contract. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
Zhao, Z 1998, ‘Popular family television and party ideology: The Spring Festival eve happy gathering’, Media, Culture & Society, 20, 43-58