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Photos: North Korea's surreal Mass Games

While everyone else watches the Olympics, Asia's weirdest sporting event transpires in the world's most secretive country
By MICHAEL GAO  |  September 8, 2008

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Photo by Michael Gao

With up to 100,000 gymnasts, dancers, acrobats, singers, musicians and trapeze artists performing in the Mass Games, the awe-inspiring spectacle can be explained as state ideology set to music. By cultivating a group mentality among participants, and by exhibiting to the audience the impressive results of thousands of people striving in unison for a common goal, the Games encourages the subordination of individual desires to the needs of the collective. Kim Jong Il himself has decreed, “Mass Games is important in training schoolchildren to be fully developed communist people."

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