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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Passé Gala (3)

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

08:09, January 13, 2012

Multiple choices

"In the 1980s, especially in rural areas, people had no other choices, and watching TV was the only way for them to get information and entertainment,” Zhang Yiwu, a professor in Chinese language and literature at Peking University, said to the Global Times.

"As their lives have become richer and more full of color, the gala is no longer as important,” Zhang told the Global Times.

This is quite true for Chen, as she hasn’t watched the gala for three years, but never felt like she was missing out. On the eve of the Spring Festival, she surfs the Internet and chooses what she would rather spend the last night of the Chinese Lunar New Year watching, she said.

Forward progress

Due to public pressure, CCTV has tried to make changes every year.

Ha Wen, chief director of the gala in 2012, called the gala a ”hot potato”. She announced that there will be no hidden advertisements this year, while the program selection section will be canceled, China Economic Weekly reported on Tuesday.

"The cost of the gala is paid for with CCTV funds, not with advertisement revenue,” Ha was quoted as saying.

"The gala is not a commercial performance, as if it were we wouldn’t be able to afford it. All the actors who participate in the gala are artists with high moral standards, and do not care about the money,” Ha was quoted by Wuhan Evening News as saying.

All the negative news surrounding, and all the changes made to the gala does not stop some loyal lovers from watching it.

Zhang Yiwu said he stills like watching the gala each year.

"It’s one of my Spring Festival rituals, like the festival eve dinner,” Zhang told the Global Times.

Liu Dejia, a 55-year-old farmer in Longkou, Shandong Province, agreed with Zhang, saying that ”without the gala, the festival does not feel like a festival.”

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