As most of us in China were aware, yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the earthquake that killed 90,000 people in Sichuan province. While Shanghaiist was having our own commemoration and fundraising event at our weekly happy hour (thanks to sponsors and everyone who came!) the rest of the country was finding its own way to remember the tragedy. Here’s a breakdown of what went on:
- University students participated in commemoration ceremonies. Fudan University students folded paper cranes with notes inside, Shanghai Normal University students read poems, and a drama was staged at East China University of Science and Technology.
- Shanghai opened its first museum about civil defense education in Luwan, intending to educate citizens about how to survive a natural disaster.
- The Shanghai Daily published a comprehensive roundup of its reports on the Sichuan earthquake. You can read their very first post here.
- In Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, several hundred mourners spontaneously gathered at the city’s Tianfu Square just before 2:28 PM, the time of last year’s quake. No official services had been organized and the people dispersed after police began patrolling the area.
- President Hu Jintao attended a memorial service near the remains of Xuankou Middle School in Wenchuan County. He praised the past year’s reconstruction efforts and promised future support for the people of Sichuan.
- In Beichuan, the hardest-hit county in Sichuan, survivors mourned privately and told their stories to Xinhua reporters. According to some sources, parents were prevented from visiting the sites of the schools where their children died.
- Reconstruction of Beichuan Middle School began, to be completed one year from now.
Elsewhere and on the net:
- In Hong Kong, a photo exhibition was launched at a commemoration ceremony that was attended by several government officials.
- The Shanghai Restoration Project posted its project Afterquake, which combines video and music to raise awareness about rehousing efforts.
- CNR compiled 6 of the most popular videos about Sichuan that have been made in the last year.
However, the anniversary came after a week of mounting tensions between government officials and foreign reporters, many of whom were detained or prevented from interviewing quake survivors.
Because of the controversy surrounding the government’s refusal to officially account for aspects of the disaster, such as the high death toll of students, this latest intervention added to foreign criticism of the CCP’s handling of the affair.
Photo from Shanghai Daily.