So yesterday I promised to conduct an informal survey of a few Westerners regarding their recognition of the following terms:
- Madame Chiang Kai-shek
- May-ling Soong
- China's eternal first lady
My hypothesis was that recognition of Term 1 would exceed that of Term 2, which in turn would greatly exceed that of Term 3.
This is in direct contrast with the editors of the China Post, who inexplicably maintain (not as a hypothesis, but as a cold, hard fact!) that Term 3 garners the greatest recognition.
As it turns out, both I and the China Post are incorrect, as the results indicate:
|Term||Number Of People Who Recognize The Term|
|"China's eternal first lady"||0|
|Madame Chiang Kai-shek||0|
The informal survey was conducted among 5 Westerners - three of whom were twentyish in age, and two who were fiftyish. My favorite response came from a fiftysomething, who upon hearing the name, May-ling Soong, asked with a completely straight face, "Is she Korean?"
Ha! Dennis, I love you, man!
So there you have it. In the West - apart from the geriatric wards and a few amateur history buffs like myself - May-ling Soong is an utter non-entity.
And what's more, this applies not only to her, but to her husband as well. For it was a genuine surprise to me that even the fifty-year-olds didn't recognize the name, "Chiang Kai-shek".
But how's that for cosmic justice? Chiang Kai-shek murdered Taiwanese in 1947, and what's history's reward?
(Image from A Hot Cup of Pleasure)
Postscript: Of course, a sample size of 5 does not a scientific poll make. But, I wager, that's 5 more than the editors of the China Post ever bothered to ask.
Which is entirely in keeping with the newspaper's slap-dash philosophy: "Why get the facts straight, when you can just make shit up?"