With 200 million Chinese students who have used “How Are You” as their English textbook while in junior high school from 1990 to 2000, producers of a movie which used fictional characters from the textbook see the former students as the potential audience.
The fictional characters such as Ha Meime, Jim, Lucy, Miss Gao, Li Lei, Lily, and Polly, the parrot that speaks English, are also the characters in the movie that would premiere across China on June 9. The upcoming film sourced their interactions and dialogues from the textbook and an oral English cassette tape that came with “How Are You.”
Because the textbook led to the development of a pop culture as the students remembered their school days, “How Are You” had become a topic of discussion on the Internet since 2005, China.org reported. Han Meimei and Li Lei became the basis of a lot of cultural creations such as a comic strip, books, stage play, mini movie, a music group, a TV series, merchandise and amateur music video.
The film, which offers a puppy love-romantic storyline, stars young actors Zhang Yijie and Zhang Zifeng and is directed by Yang Yongchun.
Meanwhile, Qiu Bai, a lesbian activist from Guangzhou City who filed a lawsuit in 2016 to change the way that college textbooks discuss homosexuality as a disease, announced on Saturday a victory in her campaign. She said that the China Renmin University Press, one of the biggest and most respected educational publishing houses in the country, promised to revise its psychology textbook, Sixth Tone reported.
Besides apologizing to the LGBT advocate and its readers, the publishing house said it would strive to produce material that conveys scientific knowledge and respects the values of diversity. Qiu Bai sent letters to 10 educational publishers in China because their textbooks still consider homosexuality as an ailment even it was removed by Chinese authorities in 2001 as a mental disease.