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
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
"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)