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Year 12 studies into Modern Chinese History

29 April 2021

Mao Zedong once said “A revolution is not a dinner party… A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Year 12 History students have been studying a brutal time in world history where society was turned upside down. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution instigated by Mao Zedong from 1966 to 1976, was a time where violence, fear, intimidation, deception and treachery reigned supreme.

Chinese language Teacher and International Student co-ordinator, Mani White spent an afternoon with the class recently, sharing her incredible experiences during this time in China. Growing up as a young girl she saw first-hand what a devastating impact Mao’s ruthless program of repression and indiscriminate violence had on her immediate family.

Ms White had the boys spellbound as she described the fanaticism of the paramilitary Red Guards who viciously attacked China’s intellectuals. Almost two million people died during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and as Ms White stressed, it took many years for China to recover from the madness and upheaval that took place.

At the conclusion of the session, Edison West offered a generous vote of thanks from the class as Ms White’s insights will assist the boys enormously. The boys are studying a unit on modern Chinese history and currently completing a focus task on Deng Xiaoping’s regime’s handling of the Tiananmen square massacre.

Ron Pippett
History Co-ordinator