National identity can be defined as an imagined construction through discourses and rituals (Alane and Charles, 2008; Barker, 1999). It is both politically and culturally formed (Alane and Charles, 2008), which presents people with a sense of belonging to their nation states (Duncan, 2003). This essay is going to explore how the radio programme arouses a sense of national identity in its listeners, through the example of “Little Souna (In pinyin: suǒnà or lǎbā)”. It is a children’s radio programme targeted at the 5-year-old to the 7-year-old (Personal research, X, 2012; table in appendix), which contains stories, poetries, songs, broadcasting plays and interactions. The reason of choosing this programme is related to some researches, which
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However, Chinese is actually the assembly of various dialects in diverse area of China, which is similar in written form but distinct in pronunciation (Simpson, 2007). “Little Souna” uses the Beijing Mandarin as standard pronunciation. The reason for choosing Mandarin is that among nine major dialects, it has the most speakers – about 660 million, taking a percentage of 63.8% (Hou 2002; cited in Simpson, 2007), while the reason for choosing Beijing Mandarin instead of other seven types of Mandarin is mainly due to the politic status of Beijing as the capital city. As a consequence, the wide broadcasting of “Little Souna” replaces respective dialects with a unified capital pronunciation. By way of popularizing the shared official language, the consciousness of individual as a part of the whole nation gets stronger than the regional identity.
Besides, techniques of the sound and word choices are also used felicitously in “Little Souna”, which enables cordial feeling between radio and children, children and children. One major advantage of the radio over the newspaper is the sound. The voice and music applied in the radio programme can become an “emotional signifier”(cited in Sonnenschein, 2001; p155), which causes certain feelings among the listeners. This is similar as television in some aspects, that