Sunday, 26 August 2012

Doesn't everyone know who Neil Armstong is?

One of the biggest surprises I had during my time in China came during my first year there when I taught English in Nanjing. I was giving a class of first year accountancy students a quiz as their final lesson of the term, and one of the questions was "Who was the first man on the moon?".

Collecting the results at the end I was surprised to find that no-one had even tried to answer it. The students weren't the best English-speakers in the school, but they certainly understood the question. I did wonder if they just didn't know the Roman-script version of his name, but none even attempted to write it in Chinese characters. In the end it appeared that no-one actually knew the answer to the question, a question that most British school children knew the answer to. My guess was just that Armstrong wasn't much of a hero in China - or was it something else?


Anonymous said...

Now that is interesting. Pretty crazy to think that the government would hide such basic knowledge from students. - SM

Gilman Grundy said...

I don't think it is hidden. Most (but not all) knew that Americans had landed on the moon - they just never learned the Armstrong's name.