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Chinese furious at 'Tibet-independence' Bjork
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By Zhang Rui

Even Roger Waters closed his mouth over his famous song "Watching TV" when he held a concert in Shanghai last year. But the famous alternative Icelandic singer Bjork's concert finale on Sunday night has provoked her live audience and later countless Chinese netizens when informed that she was declaring "Tibet! Tibet!" during her encore song: "Declare Independence".

A man surnamed Wei who was present told the Global Times, the subsidiary international paper of the People's Daily, what the scene was like while the audience chanted the lyrics "raise your flag!" with the singer in the song "Declare Independence", and then Bjork suddenly shouted "Tibet! Tibet!"

Wei said that some people around him were shocked but others might not even have noticed it since Bjork has heavily accented English. "They thought she might have just been using some meaningless exclamations like 'ho ho ho'."

The Global Times quoted the Associated Press as saying that Bjork is known to have used lyrics to declare political support for various causes. For example, she dedicated the song to Kosovo while performing last month in Japan. Her video for the song shows her in a jumpsuit bearing the flags of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the territories controlled by Denmark.

But China has undisputed sovereignty over Tibet.

Wei said that when the concert concluded, some Chinese people started to slam Bjork's surprising move. Later, Chinese netizens poured out their anger on many sites such as the web portal Sina.com. Even her previous Chinese fans were upset.

Some have already worried that the singer may never come to China again.

"The atmosphere was very strange, uncomfortable compared to the rest of the concert," Stephen Gow, a British teacher told the Associated Press. People didn't boo, Gow said, but they left the Shanghai International Gymnastic Center hurriedly.

"If she shouted 'Bush go to hell' in the United States, she might have earned some applause, but imagine what would have happened to her if she had shouted 'long live Osama bin Laden'? She pressed her finger on a very sensitive Chinese subject," an audience member was quoted by the Global Times.

Video courtesy of 66wz.com

"Why don't those foreign governments and activists check how many American Indians and blacks and Australian aborigines were killed by white men before they scream their accusations?" A young female surnamed Wu spoke to China.org.cn.

Bjork, 42, once attended a certain concert with the theme of "free Tibet", but she has never set foot on Tibetan soil. Many western entertainers make use of politics to create their images. The film Team America: World Police (2004) has already satirized this. What Bjork did was simply another ludicrous political show.

The Chinese promoter, Emma Ticketmaster, had made no comment since the concert ended.

Another of her loyal fans said, "It's no problem for her to express her differences, but when she does it in China, she is disrespectful to her Chinese fans. She's so selfish."

(China.org.cn March 5, 2008)

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