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Voodoo Dolls and Piracy

Wei tipped me off to this article. A new fad in China nowadays is voodoo dolls. They're marketed to children. They come in assorted colors, pin included. All you have to do is write down the name of the person you want the doll to represent and attach it.

"Do you want to make your enemy feel as if someone is always stalking him behind his back?" reads the caption next to a doll clad in black. " 'The Magic Shadow Killer' will thoroughly destroy his spirit." Another popular item is the "Little Angel," which purportedly brings good luck and helps its owner find true love.

In Beijing, the government has banned the sale of these dolls. They feel the dolls "encourage superstition" and "promote feudalism and feudal beliefs."

This is funny to me because Chinese people are pretty supersitious people. They believe in ghosts, demons, and gods. They believe that their ancestors can come back and complain if they are dissatisfied with the offering made at their grave or if something uncomplimentary is said about them. Certain numbers are considered unlucky so when looking for a house, they make sure those numbers are not part of the house number. On New Year, they eat whole fish and long noodles and sweets to symbolize different things in the coming year. Names are chosen not just based on sound but on what meaning they have, thus affecting what sort of life the child might have. Pairs are considered good luck. And don't even start on colors. Let's just say you shouldn't go handing out things in white if you're trying to make friends.

So, the government is concerned about a children's toy fad breeding superstition in the populace? I think that boat sailed a long time ago.

I think in part the real reason is that the government actually is afraid the children will hurt each other with these dolls. I think given the superstitions that permeate the culture, the real issue is that they're afraid voodoo dolls might actually work. And they prolly figure it's better to be safe than sorry. I mean, that's why i won't use a ouija board or a voodoo doll.

But to show they have their priorities straight, the government's approach to piracy hasn't changed. [Emphasis added]

"We have been told we will be fined and even imprisoned if we continue to sell voodoo dolls," says Huang Xiaoli, a saleswoman in a toy store in the Xidan Mingzhu Market. "The police are serious," she adds. "This is not like pirated DVDs, where the authorities say 'Do not sell these,' and then look the other way while people sell them.

By min | May 27, 2006, 1:01 PM | Ummm... Other?


I agree they should be banned