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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.

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

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