Say what you want about China’s politics, government, or human rights record. Beijing did an outstanding job at the Opening Ceremony. Some are calling it the greatest Opening Ceremony for any Olympics ever. Just an outstanding show. And I am proud to be Chinese.
Often Americans hold a double standard, especially when it comes to people very different from theirs. They often assume the best of their own, especially the white Americans, while condemning the same in others. I heard rumblings of “Why is China spending so much on the Olympics when so many Chinese people are starving?” Yet the same people applaud the ostentatiousness of similar American events. Let’s be fair, Americans.
This comes into play with political moves as well. While I am no way defending the actions of the Communist government in China, I believe the western (especially American) media has portrayed the Chinese as barbaric, dictatorial, and oppressive. For example, I believe the situation with Tibet is not as cut-and-dry as many westerners say it is. It’s remarkable how the Chinese government has been demonized while Tibet is considered a poor suffering victim and the Dalai Lama a saint. There may be truth to those claims, but suspect they are grossly exaggerated.
Back to the Olympics. I have always appreciated the Olympics, where people all over the world gather together in a spirit of friendly competition. There are two times when patriotism is at its highest: during war and during international sports. It’s encouraging to see the camaraderie that exists during peacetime when the Olympics are around. Perhaps it’s not as evident among Americans. But just watching the parade of nations tonight, I was very encouraged to see people savoring the honor of representing their country.
I believe having nations, tribes, tongues, and people groups is part of God’s perfect and loving plan. Some people look at ethnicity and they consider it a product of sin, citing the fall of man and the Tower of Babel. But yet when we look at Revelation, ethnicity is not reversed like the other effects of sin. Revelation 22 talks about creation restored, yet there are still “nations” (v.2). This tells me that it’s in God’s divine plan to make people groups. And my ethnicity is a good thing.
It was incredible to see the mosaic of peoples indicated by athletes representing their countries. True, some countries sent many more athletes than others, and there may be factions and animosity between many. But looking at all of it, I was pleased to see everyone come together in a friendly environment, celebrating the diversity of the world–the nations that God created.