On the first day of term, Southern Metropolis Daily asked primary school children in Guangzhou what they want to be when they grow up. Here are some of the answers:
(After much head scratching) “I don’t know”
“A fireman, because firemen can help people put out fires”
And then there was this girl:
“I want to be an official”
“What kind of official?”
“A corrupt official, because corrupt officials have a lot of things.”
Since Southern Metropolis Daily posted the video, it’s generated a huge amount of interest and comment on the Chinese internet and, to a lesser extent, in English as well. For some strange reason, the paper decided to delete that page, but the video is available on Youtube.
So, what does it mean? Nothing really. It’s funny and that’s it.
None of us have any idea what this particular six-year-old thinks “a corrupt official” is. Her mother reportedly explained it to her, but we don’t know what that explanation was or how much of it she understood. Neither do we know what the girl was thinking when she gave her answer. Without knowing these things, we are simply transferring our own adult views onto a child.
I prefer to think that she was joking and was quite pleased with herself for saying something so unexpected. But this is just another opinion, like everyone else’s, with no evidence whatsoever to back it up.