Northwest University’s Modern College in Xi’an has kicked up a maelstrom of debate after it reportedly sealed up its school grounds on Christmas Eve to prevent students from partying outside. Students were not allowed to leave school grounds without permission.
“Strive to be good sons and daughters of China,” read one red banner unfurled on campus by university authorities. “Oppose kitsch foreign festivals”.
“Stop western culture from expanding,” read another banner.
On campus, one finds these statues of Nüwa, a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology, and Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. The statues were made to resemble a female board member at the college.
Students say they were gathered into classrooms on Christmas Eve and shown propaganda films on traditional Chinese culture. “Teachers were keeping an eye on the students,” said one student according to a report from NetEase. “Whoever snuck out for Christmas celebration would be penalised.”
Commenting on the incident, Professor Zhang Ming of Renmin University of China says that although he never celebrates Christmas, it’s unacceptable and illegal for anyone to force other people not celebrate it. Universities do not have the right to stop its students from going out and celebrating, he adds.
[Images via NetEase]