A group of 300 people in Yangzhou who cooked four tonnes of the city’s specialty fried rice believed that they had successfully broken a world record earlier last week. However, they were informed yesterday morning that they had failed in their attempt because the rice had all been wasted.
“The organizer admitted that 150 kilograms of the rice was handled improperly,” Sharon Yang, Guinness Greater China marketing director, told Xinhua. “The products created in any record attempt involving food must be given to people and not wasted. Hereby, we have notified the organizer that the record was revoked.”
This decision came after reports and pictures leaked of the record-breaking amount of rice being used to feed pigs and being towed away by a garbage truck. The organizers had initially said that the rice would be distributed around to four local schools, however they later changed their tune. “Humans cannot eat the rice, but pigs can,” said one spokesperson.
An op-ed published on People’s Daily applauded Guinness decision and attacked China’s culture of pointless record-breaking:
The primary purpose of the Guinness World Records is meant to be encouraging people to challenge themselves and to surpass human limits. However, with more and more Guinness Records reported in China, most of them are meaningless: A group of thousands on the Ice Bucket Challenge; Tens of thousands people on the footbath challenge; The world’s biggest leather shoes, sofa, hotpot or even steamed bun. Some of them were made out of huge-crowd tactics; some of them were just money wasting.
This kind of Guinness Records is meaningless, because they mark no real breakthroughs in human history. A lot of challengers who are so keen to challenge the Guinness World Record Book are merely after wealth and fame. Many just want to do it for fun. This trend of boastful and childish behavior is unhealthy and useless to our social development.
What’s worse, many of the Guinness World Records challenges in China are organized by local governments. They support the activities with public funding for the sake of building up their own images and impressing others. Of course, the officials of such may add all these record-breaking achievements into their resume as part of their achievements. However, what they are doing not only damages the image of the government but also the mainstream social culture and values. We must stop these meaningless Guinness World Records challenges.
Are they trying to tell the proud people of Panjin that their giant pot of steamed crabs was meaningless?
The 4.19 tonnes of Yangzhou fried rice were cooked up to celebrate the city’s 2,500th anniversary. It looks the record, currently held by Turkey, will be safe for another few millennia.
[Images via Sina]