Beijing, April 1 (IANS) China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua has urged people not to play pranks and fall for them on April Fool’s Day which is not in sync with Chinese tradition and core values.
“April Fool’s Day is not in accordance with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values. Please do not believe, create or spread rumours,” said Xinhua’s official page on Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter.
On April fool’s Day, first day of the month, people play practical jokes on each other. Though celebrated for centuries, its origin is still unknown.
The post drew sharp and witty reactions from the people and users of blogging site.
“Xinhua must be joking,” a journalist with a Chinese newspaper told IANS. He requested that his name not be revealed.
“This is the most serious April Fool’s Day joke I’ve ever heard,” Global Times quoted a Weibo user.
Some were serious.
“It is just a special day. If you want to celebrate it, you celebrate it; if you don’t want to celebrate it, you just see it as another day. Is it necessary to raise it to the level of socialist core values?” Weibo user @saishangjiutouniao asked.
“You are talking about socialist core values when even the vaccines for our children are not safe? Every day is April Fool’s Day, okay?” said another user.
Of late the communist government has stepped up censorship and vigil on dissent.
This week an editor of the newspaper quit, saying he could no longer “bear the Party’s surname.”
In February, sitting in an anchor’s seat at a state-controlled TV news channel organisation, President Xi Jinping had asked all the media outlets to adopt the party’s surname.
His reference was to the Communist Party of China which controls the government.