Arts, Culture & Media

Olympic mascots: too cute?

You'd be forgiven if you thought this was a children's cartoon with five cutesy figures flying in the air. This young Beijinger isn't impressed with these Olympic mascots and says he can't really relate to them because they look like children's toys. Foreign visitors give them mixed reviews. The mascots practically cry out over their cuteness. Even the names are cute. In the lead up to the Olympics, Beijing has worked hard to communicate an image of friendliness and be non-threatening. Now the characters go by the word �Fuwa,� which is a combination of �happiness� and �baby.� This shopkeeper thinks the Fuwa are adorable, but 40% of Chinese have said in surveys that the Fuwa leave them cold. Even their original designer has disowned them, and didn't like the idea of including a panda, which he thought was cliche. Some Fuwa opponents have claimed that the Fuwa are harbingers of doom and there's been a disaster connected with each of them, including the Sichuan earthquake and Tibetan protests. But others say enough already, and even if the Fuwa don't inspire Olympic support, the Olympics themselves will.

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