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Chinese Literature Experts Criticize Pop Music
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Chinese literary experts are using Wednesday's International Children's Songs Day to air their considerable displeasure with modern pop culture. Fan Fajia, a children's literature expert with the Chinese Writers' Association, said more and more children had become attracted to what he described as "shallow and uninspiring pop music," lamenting the fact that few children were interested in the "simple and inspiring" children's songs of the past.

"More than 90 percent of the songs the kids hear every day are pop songs - children's songs are being squeezed out," Fan said, adding criticism on today's younger generation for "mocking some pop songs and ancient poems to create rhyming spoofs."

"Often, these self-created songs reflect their negative attitudes towards life and it is high time we influence children with good children's music," Fan explained.

Chinese children's songs experienced a boom in the 1950s and the 1960s, and they were often used to promote virtues like honesty and thriftiness.

The songs were aired through radio programs like the Little Trumpet, which was first aired in September 1956 on China National Radio. "These songs have had a lasting positive influence on some Chinese people," said Qian Wancheng, an expert in children's literature, "but children's music is losing ground to adult pop music."

It is not only children that appear disinterested in songs aimed specifically at a younger audience.

"Not many composers are writing songs for the children now because it is unprofitable compared with writing pop music," said Jin Bo, vice chairman of the Chinese music literature association.

"We need more composers to create inspiring music for our children," Jin said.

International Children's Songs Day was established in 1976 in an international poetry conference in Belgium, and approved by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999.
(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2007)

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