In Memory: 1 Year Anniversary Of The 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake

sichuan-earthquake-candle-light-vigil-01As expected, the Chinese media and internet is crawling with content commemorating the one-year anniversary of the devastating 2008 May 12th Sichuan Earthquake (often also referred to as the Beichuan/Wenchuan Earthquake) that killed a reported 68,712 people, including 5,335 students, with around 18,000 people still listed as missing. Last year, when the earthquake hit, CNR reviewed the pictures and reports on the blogosphere and Twitter, 24+ ways to donate, and the “freedom of speech” controversy over the 3-day mandatory media mourning period that soon followed.

A lot has happened over the past year and, for some, a lot hasn’t. However compounded by human negligence, let’s take a moment to remember the victims of this horrible natural disaster, and the many courageous and selfless people who did what they could to help, even as we keep in our hearts and minds the work that remains to be done to avoid such a tragedy in the future.

Below, we’ve compiled six of the most popular “512″ videos on Youku:

1. 实拍北川清明节祭奠最感人的现场

“The most touching scenes of Tomb Sweeping Day memorials in Beichuan”

In observance of Tomb Sweeping Day, a Chinese holiday to remember the deceased, Beichuan county temporarily opened the previously sealed off disaster areas to the public, allowing them to enter and hold memorial services for their loved ones that died in th 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake.
2. 总理让路女孩,你现在好吗?

“The girl whom the Premier stepped aside for, how are you doing these days?”

A one year update on a cute little girl, Song Xinyi, who spent 40 hours crushed under earthquake rubble, and her parents’ bodies, before being discovered and rescued. A year later, she wears a prosthetic for the leg that was amputated. While she has gotten used to it, she will never be able to dance and run like other children. The video shows her riding a stroller home after school, but insisting on climbing the stairs by herself every day, not letting her new father carry her.
3. 回访抗震小英雄林浩谢谢关心他的叔叔阿姨

“Little earthquake hero Lin Hao thanks the uncles and aunties’ concern for him”

Another one year follow-up on the 9-year-old hero, Lin Hao, who risked his life and was injured when he ran back into his school to save two of his classmates by carrying them on his back. Only 10 students from his class of 31 made it out. He lost both of his parents. Now 10, the video shows where he is now, and features him thanking everyone for asking after him.
4. 我的沙画作品-512一周年,天佑中华

“My sand artwork – 512 one year anniversary, God bless China”

For those of your familiar with sand art, perhaps popularized by previous Christians productions, this is a similar video where sand is spread onto a light projector and an indidual uses his hand to create images in the sand morphing from scene to scene. I didn’t think the Wen Jiabao looked like Wen Jiabao, but you’ll recognize the scene from the photos used in the second video above.
5. 512国殇:请记住这100个瞬间(添加字幕版)

“512 national tragedy: Please remember these 100 moments (subtitled version)”

100 pictures/moments of the Earthquake

This picture slide show mixed with music was also released soon after the Sichuan earthquake. It features Chinese captions explaining each of the 100 pictures of tragedy, grief, despair, weariness, selflessness, hope, relief, and joy. It is a small guide to many of the most memorable media scenes etched into the consciousness of many Chinese citizens in the days following the 5.12 Earthquake.
6. 超感人抗灾歌-你牵到了我的手

“Extremely touching disaster song – You grabbed my hand”

A touching music video featuring amateur singing and lyrics that was made soon after the earthquake hit. The chorus:

我知道你决不放弃, 决不放弃

You grabbed my hand
and I grabbed the strength of life
I know you definitely will not give up, will not give up
will not give up every strand of hope


You grabbed my hand
and I grabbed the strength of life
I know I definitely can, I definitely can
I definitely can be stronger.

Please feel free to recommend or share links to notable videos, posts, features remembering the 2008 May 12th Sichuan Eartquake in the comments below.


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