Monday, September 5, 2011

Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

Mao's Last Dancer is a really good read in my opinion.  It was very fascinating to peek into the Chinese culture and into the development of Li as a ballet dancer.  His rags-to-riches story is incredibly uplifting.

I had great pause to consider the reality of nationalism.  We are indoctrinated early in life to see our own nation as The Best Nation in the world.  Of course, we all know that Canada IS the best nation in the world, right?  But in countries we see as not-so-great like China (pollution, overpopulation, poverty and so on), the people like Li who are born and raised in them feel the same way about their nation as we feel about Canada.  It is very startling to realize the whole world doesn't revolve around us (Canadacentrism?).  I found this also in Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

Grab Mao's Last Dancer for a quick and inspiring read.