My friend recently moved back from Taiwan to Australia and posted this on his ig story. I thought it would be interesting to share.
For CNY the local government commissioned an artist (ABC/華僑 i.e. not born in China) to design some art installations. As you can see below, they used blue yellow and white. Apparently white is the most unlucky colour which has strong ties to death/funerals. This has led to many protests by the local Chinese community who want to take them down
Hi, I’m new here! Really loojing forward to studying with flexi class and meeting different people
I live in Australia and yes, this was on the news a couple of weeks ago.
It was a shame that the council didn’t find the right person to do the decoration! And I’d say most ABCs would know what colour(s) are appropriate for Lunar New Year…
Anyhow, there was also a news about a University in Canada that gave out “ghost coins” as a present for Chinese overseas students… LOL.
I’m sure they meant well when they prepared those gifts, but again, it just shows how important it is to do some research to understand the Chinese culture, or take an initiative to ask for feedback and suggestions from some native Chinese
Oh wow, that’s super interesting! A friend of mine in Taipei doesn’t even like to say the word 鬼, so it makes sense there was such a strong reaction but I didn’t realize before now that blue and white had such negative connotations, thanks for sharing!
Right behind the 胡同 I live in is 簋街 guǐ jiē. Until tonight, I always thought it was 鬼街 because “Ghost street” is what everyone calls it in English. But it just happens that 簋 and 鬼 have the same pinyin/tone. How it became known as Ghost in English I don’t know, but it’s a famous food street in Beijing. I love living in this neighborhood and food is never far away!
(Some easy listening practice in the first video)
The first time I arrived in Beijing some years ago, the whole street looked like this:
Really unfortunate they decided to get rid of the lanterns some years ago
@Sonja-Mandarin-HSK_3 Yes a very good point! foreigners are called that in Hong Kong, but it’s not a compliment
It’s actually quite an insult, but it has become so common that foreigners themselves adapted it.
It’s an interesting example of a derogatory term that over time has become almost neutral in its meaning.
Still, it has 鬼 in it, so it remains an insult for anyone who understands Chinese.
@phillip-Mandarin-HSK_4 Yes 簋街 is just not what it used to be anymore.
I remember being told these stories from other foreigners that it was called ghost street because people partied all night and looked like ghosts.
In the end I think it simply came from some expats pretending to understand Mandarin without learning characters.