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No shows, no games as whole nation grieves

[ 2010-04-22 13:18]     字号 [] [] []  
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Theaters, cinemas, KTVs and amusement parks were closed nationwide on Wednesday, as the country grieved for victims killed in the earthquake in Qinghai's Yushu prefecture.

"We called each customer who booked rooms today, asking them to switch to another time, and they all showed understanding," said a staff member surnamed Diao at the Cashbox Party World KTV in Chaoyang district.

Diao said his company was not worried about financial losses. "It's nothing compared with the losses of lives in the earthquake."

College students Lai Lifei and Xian Hui, who had planned to watch a movie together at the Beijing Capital Cinema on Wednesday, were told the cinema was closed.

Hanging on the wall were announcements of the cinema being closed for the day. Pictures of quake victims flashed on several big screens in the waiting hall, which usually show popular movie trailers.

Although the girls had traveled a long way to get together, they said they were willing to give up the movie.

Yu Chao, vice-general manager of the cinema, said that he and his colleagues would likely see many more customers like Lai and Xian.

Most of the staffers got the day off, and the company arranged for them to go to a tree-planting in the suburbs, in the hopes of doing something good for society, he said.

In a board game bar in Beijing, Shen Zijie, the 25-year-old owner, said his bar had decided to stop providing gaming services on Wednesday.

"You're welcome to stay here and do whatever you like. But no games, sorry," he told two young men who came to the bar about 3 pm on Wednesday. The guests said they were OK with the decision.

The situation was similar in other cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In Shanghai, all shows were suspended. At an Internet cafe on busy East Nanjing Road, operators banned users from playing computer games.

In Guangzhou, department stores stopped playing background music on Wednesday, and in home appliance stores, most of the TV sets on display showed quake-related programs.

Meanwhile, all local Chinese websites displayed black-and-white homepages with entertainment news blocked.

A click on the "entertainment" channel of sohu.com, one of China's main portals, led to news of the earthquakes, and the same click on youku.com, China's biggest video website, led to the donation accounts of the Red Cross Society of China and China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.

All residents interviewed by China Daily said their lives would not be affected by the no-entertainment rule on Wednesday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

No shows, no games as whole nation grieves

About the broadcaster:

No shows, no games as whole nation grieves

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.