January 16, 2008

Notorious “Teddy Teacher” to come to China

Filed under: China,culture,teaching — Kim @ 5:49 am

A couple of months ago I briefly blogged about Gillian Gibbons, the English woman teaching in Sudan who got imprisoned and had to face protests and death threats for allowing her charges to name their school teddy “Muhammad”.

My point was that although things can be unfair and occasionally infuriating here in China, it is really not that bad compared to some other places. I guess I was also having a dig at religious extremism…and I have written elsewhere of how comfortable I feel with China’s overwhelmingly agnostic culture.

Admittedly, this kind of argument is always flawed, though always tempting: just because elsewhere is worse, doesn’t mean you should gloss over local problems. And China’s nationalism strikes me as being occasionally just as dogmatic and blinkered as “bad religion” can be.

But in any case, the big news is that the arch-blasphemer is coming to ply her pedagogic trade in China! Perhaps she read my blog?

In an interview with “Hello!” magazine (she’d better get used to that word) she said:

“I’ve been to China on holiday before and loved it…Besides which, I know I’m the most notorious teacher in the world at the moment, but I’m hoping that perhaps no one has heard of me there. I’m driven to follow my dream of teaching abroad again.”

Apparently, she still has the equally infamous teddy with her, although she’s renamed it “Barnaby”. And, yes, she’s going to be bringing Barnaby (alias Shaytan) with her to China!

Well, welcome to China Gillian, and for Allah’s sake don’t let your cute little Chinese kids prank you into letting them change Barny’s name to “Mao”.

Or on the other hand, if life seems a bit placid here after Sudan and you fancy stirring things up a bit then try rechristening Barny as “Maohammad the Mad Mass Murderer” and see how long you last.

Jung Chang will give you a home to go to.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.