Houston Community News >> Chinese Students Says Humbug to Christmas

12/22/2006 BEIJING (Reuters) - Ten doctoral students from three of China's top universities have posted an online petition slamming local Christmas celebrations and calling on people to "resist Western cultural invasion", state media said on Friday.

The students from the elite Peking, Tsinghua and People's universities railed against "American and European culture" expanding throughout China along with "their technological and economic domination", the China Daily said.

"Occidental culture has been more like storms sweeping through the country rather than mild showers," the paper quoted the petition -- dated with China's traditional lunar calendar -- as saying.

It was a "failure on the part of the government to maintain Chinese traditions, while encouraging the economy".

The authors criticised retailers for using the festival to boost business and local people for revelling without knowing the origin of the occasion, the paper said.

"On Christmas Eve, people must wait for seats at nearly every restaurant in Beijing and other cities in China," the authors lamented.

Western festivals like Christmas and Valentine's Day have become popular among China's youth in recent years, but some have worried traditional Chinese culture is being swept away in the country's headlong economic boom.

China's Communist rulers only officially recognise one traditional festival -- Chinese Lunar New Year. Others, like the Dragon Boat Festival, are still formally marked in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

(Contributed by Reuters)