As someone that is English, but has spent the last 7 years in China, this article for the Guardian, a comparison between the opening ceremonies for the last two Olympics, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, resonates with me for many reasons and articulates the reasons better than I ever could have.
- Britain is more self confident on a global stage, reflected in the content of the ceremony
- China was trying to create an image for the world, London was a party for everyone.
- Britain dealt with its history and took ironic pops at that history, while highlighting the importance of a political touchstone, the National Health Service, and the problems that it faces.
- One event reflected the passion, hopes and struggles of the people, the other reflected the nationalism of a single party state.
- China’s was immense, monumental, hugely impressive, but so scripted they even replaced the little girl singer in person with someone prettier.
I did enjoy both ceremonies for different reasons and let’s face it, both countries are at different stages of their development. It was interesting to see what AWW had to say about it though and it would be good to hear what you think.