In the case of welcoming visiting leaders, it is reasonable for a school to prepare something nice as a token of welcome, such as decking up the paths with colored flags or having students dressed neat in school uniforms. But making students line up and bow as the team of cars drove pass seems a little too much. As bowing is mostly used in funeral ceremony in China, netizens satirically captioned the scene as seeing hearses off.
First posted about midnight on July 20th, the set of photos had been viewed 202,553 times with 1440 comments by 9 pm July 24th on mop. The photos were taken in a industrial vocational high school of Shaoyang County, Hunan Province. As seen in the photos, students were standing upright on both sides of the path to welcome the leaders’ arrival with police car ahead leading the way. When team of cars and buses boarded with visiting leaders drove pass, the girls bent over and bowed.
Before long, the post was reposted on Tianya forum, Zhonghua forum and Hunan red net etc.
Netizen wanghu49 from mop said : Students are always free labor for schools.”
Netzen 非猫一笑天 from tianya commented: “Making students serve as usherette to kiss boss’ ass, the scene looks more like showing the final respect on somebody’s funeral.
Reporter soon contacted the principal Liu Qiuping who confirmed that it did happened. In reply to the question why the girls bowed, he said bowing was like applauding or cheering as a way to show welcome. “We used to go with applauding and cheering, but somehow someone suggested switching to bowing, and we weren’t concerned enough to expect so much finger pointing from netizens. ” Principal Liu said he understand netizen’s concerns now and promised won’t make such ceremonial welcome any more.