CHINA TRANSLATED: ‘How Dare You Not Call That a Patriotic Act?’

By James Yu
James Yu
James Yu
James Yu is a long-time China watcher currently residing in New Jersey. Born in northeastern China, he gained a bachelor's and then master's degree in Beijing, and later completed Ph.D. studies in the United States. He writes the "China Translated" newsletter which features collations of jokes, anecdotes, and news items reflecting the zeitgeist of Chinese Internet culture, and in particular the Internet citizenry's take on Chinese officialdom.
October 7, 2015 Updated: October 8, 2015

The week beginning with National Day on Oct .1 (the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China) is a holiday named Golden Week in China—this edition thus includes the best jokes, comments, and topics of discussion about the travel and touring associated with it. This newsletter is rated PG-13, because it contains descriptions of violence against Japanese shopkeepers.

Joke of the Week

When in Rome…

“In a flight to Shanghai leaving from the United States, a Chinese mother was gently soothing her child who kept crying and screaming—but it wasn’t working. After arriving at the Shanghai airport, the mother suddenly began to spank the child, who immediately became silent. What a knowledgeable mother, strictly sticking to local rules!”

(The joke makes light of the strictness, sometimes to the point of roughness, of stereotypical Chinese parenting techniques.)

Best of Weibo

On traffic jams

@jessetoo: “I recommend single girls visit the jammed highway to find a boyfriend. Why? You can tell how wealthy he is from his car; you know how patient he is from his mood while waiting for hours or days; most importantly, you know how healthy he is by measuring how long he is able to hold urine!”

botanwang

On China’s Japan shopping mania, and anti-Japanese propaganda

@LifeTime: “Criticism and mockery of Chinese tourists snapping up ‘rice cookers’ or ‘toilet seats‘ in Japan has had little effect in stopping our shopping mania. Clearly, when people pay money for something to use, they don’t care about what is ‘politically correct’.”

botanwang

Violent Outburst

BBC Chinese reported the story of a Chinese couple arrested by Japan’s Hokkaido police for beating a store clerk. According to BBC, the clerk warned the wife who ate ice cream before paying for it and gestured for her to leave. The husband “felt his wife was insulted” and punched the clerk in the face. The news became a hot topic both in China and Japan.

Xu Jingbo, a Chinese journalist who runs a news website in Japan, wrote anarticle commenting on the story. Xu said that some Chinese may hold hostility against Japanese because of domestic “anti-Japan” television drama propaganda, but they should not behave that way when visiting other countries. The couple is facing imprisonment for up to 1-2 years, or at minimum a fine of 500,000 yen ($4,150). They will also be forbidden to visit Japan for at least 5 years, said Xu.

A Chinese netizen with a well-developed sense of sarcasm wrote: “Let’s stop accusing our tourists of bad manners in Japan. Indeed, that’s the ultimate patriotism… Just imagine what it would be like if the Japanese copied those bad acts, which would lead to social and ethnic conflicts in Japan. So those tourists have made trouble for our ‘enemy’ during the ‘National Day holiday’, how dare you not call that a patriotic act?”

Villagers Worship Official

Legal Evening News reported that two villagers in Henan Province had built a “temple” and worshipped the director of their community governmental agency. Song Guoan and Tian Bosong are residents of Malin Village in Jinshui District, Zhengzhou. Unlike all other households in their neighborhood, they were refused by a local official the right to use state-owned farmland for housing.

To resolve the issue, Song and Tian built a temple named “Qingming Tang,” meaning of “The Hall of Clearness and Brightness.”  They worshipped the photo of Qi, the governmental head of their community, on a daily basis. Beside Qi’s photo, there are couplets saying “hope our good director / relieves the burdens of ordinary people.” The photo of Baozheng, an iconic upright official representing the dignity of law in China, was also hung on the outside wall.

On the other hand, Qi said in the interview that he simply followed the rules to reject the requests of Song and Tian, as both of them were divorced and thus not qualified to use state-owned farmland for development. When asked about the temple, Qi said: “That’s their own business.”

James Yu
James Yu is a long-time China watcher currently residing in New Jersey. Born in northeastern China, he gained a bachelor's and then master's degree in Beijing, and later completed Ph.D. studies in the United States. He writes the "China Translated" newsletter which features collations of jokes, anecdotes, and news items reflecting the zeitgeist of Chinese Internet culture, and in particular the Internet citizenry's take on Chinese officialdom.