Herge’s personal and spiritual growth in understanding other cultures and combatting his own prejudices is remarkable. He grew from a young man writing the colonial tracts like Tintin in the Congo to the great writer who received the Dalai Lama’s Truth of Light award for his work on Tintin in Tibet.
To celebrate this I’m declaring today Chang Day in memory of the fictional Chang in The Blue Lotus and Tintin in Tibet and the real life Zhang Chongren who inspired him. Zhang Chongren visited Belgium in early 1930’s, became close friends with Herge and his influence helped shape the next Tintin 70 years of Tintin.
Zhang returned to China in 1936 and the pair lost contact during the turbulent years of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It wasn’t until the 18th March 1981 that the two were reunited.
Let’s celebrate cultural diversity and the undying bond of friendship – Chang Day – March 18th.