Chinese rural pupils’ awards create buzz online

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NANNING: Two primary schools in south China have received wide attention online by awarding live carp and slices of pork to their best-performing students.
Photos and videos, showing some pupils in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region happily showing off the fish and pork, were widely spread online and were soon among the top buzzwords on Chinese social network Weibo.
Some 200 pupils at Jiangchuan Primary School in Sanjiang each got a live carp, and pupils in another school of the same county received pork for their good grades at the just-concluded final exam.
Li Xiaoxue, vice principal of the Jiangchuan school, said that it was the third consecutive semester that students have been motivated with live carp as the carp symbolizes wealth and courage in the country, and the awards were welcomed by students and their families.
In Chinese legend, a carp turns into a dragon after jumping over a mountain across the Yellow River. The story is often used to encourage children from deprived families to climb social ladders by studying hard. The Chinese word “fish” is also a homophone for “abundance”, and a symbol of wealth. All students in the Jiangchuan school live in the Nanzhan community where all the residents were relocated from poor and remote areas of the county. – Agencies