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Chinese in nostalgia of 'red' arts
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On a rainy Saturday night, Kong Mingzhe rushed home from a private theater. His red Chairman Mao T-shirt was all wet.

Tired from hours of rehearsal for "Godot finally came", a modern sequel inspired by Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", he turned on the DVD player. It was one episode of a period TV series about a Chinese double agent who collected information in the Kuomintang for the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"I'm very curious about the revolutionary period of China and find it rather interesting," said the 24-year-old.

Apart from his regular job as an editor at one of the country's largest video websites tudou.com, Kong is also in an avant-garde drama society and led a rock band back in college.

"Modern art is an effective way for us to express ourselves. But those red classics help me understand where did my life and the surroundings come from," the Shanghai native said.

Just days ago, he re-watched a 1964 classical feature, "the Guard under Neon Lights", which told a story about several soldiers of the People's Liberation Army sticking to revolutionary traditions in an exotic and seductive environment in Shanghai's early 1950s.

Kong is not alone in this red-themed nostalgia.

A student surnamed Chen from the Central Conservatory of Music said tears were streaming down her face as she was "way too overwhelmed" when watching the debut of a large-scale musical "Road to Revival" on Sunday.

The ambitious 150-minute musical, involving a total of 3,200 actors and singers, recounted the country's development from 1840 to 2009 in dedication to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the New China.

"I was one of the 90s generation. From a professional angle, the music, the dancing, the lighting and almost everything else were perfect. But most importantly, I felt so educated," said Chen.

Red, symbolizing luck and fortune in Chinese traditions, is also the main color of both the national ensign and the CPC's flag, representing a revolutionary spirit. Now it is widely used as a reference to anything related to the period of the early and middle 20th century when the CPC's army fought against Japanese invaders, battled the Kuomintang and led to the founding of the New China in 1949.

Red culture has long been considered the exclusive preserve of China's older generations who have been through that period or heard much from their parents. But now it's becoming a fashion for all ages.

According to a survey released early this month by the China Youth Daily, 95.7 percent of the 4,037 Chinese netizens said they liked to watch "red-themed" TV series and 49.3 percent loved them "very much".

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