Northwest University’s Modern College in Xi’an kicked up a maelstrom of debate during the holiday season, when it closed its gates to keep students from celebrating Christmas outside. And, it seems that the university has found itself at the heat of controversy once again, after it released a statement saying that its decision to ban Christmas has now been justified by the New Year’s Eve stampede at Shanghai’s Bund, which resulted in 36 deaths.
South China Morning Post reports that following the Shanghai stampede the university released a 2,000 character statement, which it titled “The unfortunate festival tragedy in Shanghai proved the university’s festival management was incomparably right.”
The statement added “If the Shanghai incident had occurred in Xi’an, if the Xi’an incident had occurred on Christmas Eve, and if there were students killed during the incident, then the value of the Modern College’s Christmas Eve management would stand out.”
Since the statement’s release, it has received a backlash from web users, who have described it as “ridiculous” and “cold-blooded.” One Weibo user even wrote “You may choke when eating, so don’t eat anything.”
The university had originally stated that its decision to restrict Christmas-based activities was because it believed that many Chinese people were beginning to value western festivals and holidays more highly than the traditional Chinese ones.
Throughout the festive period, the university campus was plastered with banners reading “Strive to be good sons and daughters of China”, “Oppose kitsch foreign festivals” and “Stop western culture from expanding.”
By Robert Ridley
[Image via NetEase]