Mango Mao

mangomaoMango Mao – in his article in Public Culture Michael Dutton documents the gift of mangoes made by delegates from pakistan/Burma/Africa/SEAsia (?) as ‘tribute’ to Mao. These mangoes were memorialised in hundreds of thousands of commemorative badges. (The link is only to the first paragraphs - I will try to heist the pdf in due course). Mangoes are, as metaphors go, juicier than NATO bombing campaigns (obscure joke for SC and DW).

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  • john hutnyk  On 05/09/2013 at 11:01 am

    “On 5 August 1968, Arshad Husain, the foreign minister of Pakistan, visited Mao Zedong and presented the chairman with a basket of red and gold mangoes. Or so one version of this story goes. Another equally compelling account claims the person was Burmese (Zhou 1993: 56), while another suggests that this emissary of mangoes came from either Africa or Southeast Asia (Yang 1994: 249). History’s shroud covers the identity of this original bearer of gifts just as the Chinese recollections of these events transformed this act of (foreigners) giving into a form of tribute. In this story of mangoes as tribute, the gift is not a gift. The true tale of gift giving, therefore, is left to the chairman to deliver.” (Dutton 2004)

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