There was high drama, tears, screams and much weapon-wielding at a World War II victory day entertainment gala in Beijing on Thursday night after a picture-perfect military parade in the morning.
The “Victory and Peace” show was held at the Great People’s Hall. It depicted the Chinese people’s resistance against the Japanese invasion in a horrifying and melodramatic way, complete with howling soldiers and ravaged women.
One of the most striking scenes featured women clad in blood-stained and torn dresses. They were likely representing victims of the 1937 Nanking Massacre, sometimes called the Rape of Nanking.
Amongst all the screaming, a mother carrying her deceased child emerged from the back.
Her eyes were full of anger as she took centre stage.
Equally frightening – if not mildly camp – were topless men dancing in waves, mimicking the movement of a “roaring Yellow River.”
Another scene took us back to the 1937 Battle of Pingxingguan, in which the Communist Party’s 8th Route Army defeated Japanese soldiers in central China.
The fur-trapper-wearing “heroes” of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang were hailed for their bravery and sacrifices for the country.
Other memorable scenes from the gala included soldiers of the revolution “basking in the light of Chairman Mao’s thoughts.”
The Normandy Landings were just as emotional.
After almost a decade of fighting, victory was upon China and peace finally dawned on the country.
Chinese pianist Lang Lang played victorious ditties whilst the people looked to their future with hope.
Then, a war veteran related tales of the war to a dozen children sitting around him.
And of course, no Chinese gala will be complete without a harmonious dance of the country’s 55 minorities celebrating China’s national unity.
State news agency Xinhua called the show “majestic and inspiring.”