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From Egypt to North Korea

Transition is ongoing in North Korea, following the death of Kim Jong-Il two weeks ago. It is rather fascinating to watch official ceremonies unfurl, as this is one of the few times when a Stalinist country goes into full display mode.

For comparison, footage from Stalin’s funeral (1953), first raw, then with some background.

One aspect of the Kim Jong-Il funeral that stands out particularly (in my eye, at least) is the crowd’s reaction.

Before you scream “faked!”, I should point out that there have been professional mourners (or wailers) in many cultures, for a long time… and it still is the case in some countries, apparently.


In any case, let’s hope that the new regime will prove more open than the one that just ended.

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