HONG KONG — The Chinese game show begins like many others, with flashing lights, a heroic soundtrack and rapturous applause from a studio audience.
香港——这档中文游戏节目的开场跟很多其他节目一样,伴随着闪烁的灯光、夸张的配乐和演播厅观众发出的热烈掌声。
But on this show, one topic dominates: President Xi Jinping, the man, the leader, the Communist Party chief. Contestants face a daunting array of questions about his favorite books, the meaning of his speeches, and his formative years in a rural village.
但在这档节目中有一个主导性的话题:权威、领袖、中共头号人物——习近平主席。参赛者面临着一系列令人望而生畏的问题,包括他最喜欢的书、他演讲的意义以及他在偏远农村的成长岁月。
The five-part show, “Studying Xi in the New Era,” airing on Chinese state television this week, aims to inspire interest in Mr. Xi’s life and ideas among a younger generation. It is the latest sign of the predominance of Mr. Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, in the daily life of citizens.
这个分为五期的节目《新时代学习大会》,本周正在中国的电视台播放(本文英文版发表于2018年10月2日——编注),致力于激发年轻一代对习近平的生活和理念的兴趣。这是中国几十年来最具权势的领导人习近平在公民日常生活中占主导地位的最新迹象。
The show — which does not appear to offer cash or other prizes — poses a series of multiple-choice questions, many of them focused on Mr. Xi. There is also a smattering of questions about figures like Marx, Mao and Deng Xiaoping.
这档节目——看上去似乎既没有奖金,也没有其他形式的奖励——给出了一系列多项选择题,其中很多关注是习。关于马克思、毛泽东和邓小平等人物,也有零星的问题。
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But the show often feels like an ode to Mr. Xi, whom the party has elevated to a status on par with Mao. Mr. Xi’s words dominate propaganda posters across China, and the party routinely promotes his nationalistic ideology, known as Xi Jinping Thought, in schools, newspapers and across government offices.
但这个节目常常让人感觉像是对习近平的颂歌,他被共产党提升到了可以跟毛并肩的地位。习近平说过的话在中国各地的宣传海报中占据着主导地位,共产党经常在学校、报纸和政府办公室推广他的民族主义意识形态,即习近平思想。
Over the summer, critics in Beijing questioned the adulatory promotion and Mr. Xi’s sweeping control over the government. But the game show is another sign that Mr. Xi is not going away — and that party leaders see him as a transformative figure in Chinese history.
今年夏天,北京的一些批评者质疑了这种奉承式的推广和习近平对政府的全面控制。但这档节目再一次显示——习是不会消失的——党的领导层把他视为中国历史上一个变革性的人物。
Jane Duckett, a professor of politics at the University of Glasgow, said the game show is an extension of the news media’s intense focus on Mr. Xi in recent years. She said the show appeared to be an attempt “to situate Xi and his ideas in historical Marxist context,” lending legitimacy to his agenda.
格拉斯哥大学的政治学教授简·达克特(Jane Duckett)指出,这个节目是近年来新闻媒体对习近平的强烈关注的延伸。她说,这个节目看起来像是一个“把习近平和他的思想置于历史马克思主义范畴中”的尝试,为其议程提供合法性。
One segment, a contestant says that Mr. Xi’s ideology “brims with vigor.” Another describes his leadership as “infinitely powerful.”
在节目中,一名参赛者一度说,习近平的思想“充满活力”。另一名参赛者用“无限强大”来形容他的领导力。
At another moment, a moderator plays a clip of a speech and asks what Mr. Xi meant when he said that the profundity of Marxism could be traced to one sentence.
一位主持人在中间播放了一个演讲片段,并问到当习说马克思主义的深刻性可以归结于一句话时,他想表达什么。
Tang Xuwang, a graduate student in Marxism at the University of South China, chimes in with the correct answer: “To seek liberation for the human race.”
南华大学的马克思主义专业研究生唐旭旺给出了与正确答案完全一致的回答:“寻求人类的解放”。
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University professors specializing in the ideology of Mr. Xi and of other Communist leaders act as judges and commentators.
专门研究习近平和其他共产党领导人思想的大学教授担任评委和评论员。
The show, which airs in prime time on Hunan Television, one of China’s most popular channels, was developed with the advice of Communist Party officials in Hunan Province. The state media describes the show as a response to Mr. Xi’s call for “a thorough study session among the whole party.”
这档节目在中国最流行的电视台之一——湖南卫视的黄金时间播送,是在湖南省共产党官员的建议下制作的。国家媒体形容这档节目是在响应习近平的“全党来一个大学习”的号召。
Quizzes are an established part of political indoctrination classes for officials and students in China, and often participants are given the answers beforehand so that the tests become exercises in memorization.
测验的问题是中国官员和学生政治灌输课程的既定部分,通常会事先给参赛者答案,因此这场比赛变成了记忆训练。
While there were some wrong answers in “Studying Xi in the New Era,” for the most part the contestants seemed well rehearsed and appeared to have memorized important lines from Mr. Xi’s speeches.
虽然在《新时代学习大会》中出现了一些错误的答案,但大多数参赛者似乎排练得很好,并且似乎记住了习近平演讲的重要内容。
“Studying Xi in the New Era,” follows the debut of another ideology-themed show, “Marx Got It Right,” in the spring as part of an effort to better explain Marxist ideals to Chinese millennials.
《新时代学习大会》在另一档意识形态节目《马克思是对的》于春天首次亮相后接棒,属于加强向中国的千禧一代解释马克思主义思想的行动之一。
Party leaders have expressed concern that young Chinese are too far removed from the ideals of Communist revolution, and officials have expanded ideological education to try to counter Western influences.
党的领导人对中国年轻人远离共产主义革命理想表示出了担忧,官员们也已经扩大了意识形态教育,试图反对西方的影响。
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“Studying Xi in the New Era” uses a variety of stunts seemingly aimed at a younger audience. A robot asks questions. Animations of spaceships and galaxies appear in the background. A Chinese-speaking cartoon version of Marx delivers mini-lectures.
《新时代学习大会》使用了各种各样的针对年轻观众的噱头。机器人来提问、太空船和银河的动画出现在背景中,说中文的卡通马克思形象举行了小型讲座。
“They want to show that the party is close to the people,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political-science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. “But it’s very difficult to convince the youth.”
“他们希望展示共产党贴近人民,”香港浸会大学的政治学教授高敬文(Jean-Pierre Cabestan)说,“但这很难让年轻人信服。”