“The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”

| January 19th, 2010

20100119-SHE-stupid-01

Recently this music video named “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid” (全世界都在笑中国傻) has been circulating on the Chinese internet. Initially this music video was “officially approved” by the Chinese government, however netizens strongly reacted to the bitter sarcasm of the lyrics which associated with China’s current situation. Soon after, Sina – the first website posted this video quickly removed the video content from its page. Subsequently, most of the major Chinese video sharing sites also have removed it.

This internet song is modified from the original song “Zhong Guo Hua” (中国话: Chinese language) by S.H.E. It uses the same music with modified lyrics. Netizens called it the KUSO version of the S.H.E song.

More shockingly, Peking University entrance examination (Gaokao) held on January 16, 2010 had questions on this KUSO version of the song “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”, asking students to find the rhymes in the lyrics and also use them in sentences. Almost all the test takers were all stumped by the questions. Once the topic was announced, it immediately aroused public concerns; people were more and less shocked how “unimaginably creative” Peking University’s exam questions can be.

The original Song “Zhong Guo Hua” by S.H.E sings:

“The whole world is speaking Chinese. Confucius is more and more international. The whole world is speaking Chinese. We speak our language and let the whole world listen to us closely.”

It praises the Chinese have extensive knowledge and profound scholarship, even laowai (foreigners) are fighting to learn Chinese. However, take a look what is this KUSO version of the song talks about?

 


(If you cannot see YouTube videos in China, try use VPN software :
Freedur,  and use coupon code CHINAHUSH to get 10% off. 
Don’t miss the  Freedur VPN subscription giveaways! ends Jan /21 )

Lyrics:

“The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
In London Marilyn knocked down state-owned enterprises and built high rises.
Moscow’s Vsky is thankful for privatization reform
Various colored skins and hair
Taking advantage of the spring tide of reform, dive into it suddenly
How many years our state-owned enterprises have struggled and were ruined
These years in exchange for their machinery, electronics, chemical industry and logistics to dominate the world
Welcome foreign businesses
Such hard working Chinese people and such cheap Chinese goods

(Chinese tongue twister, part of the original lyrics)
The carrying pole is wide and the bench is long
The carrying pole wants to be bind onto the bench
The bench won’t let the carrying pole to be bind onto to the bench
The carrying pole must bind onto the bench
The bench must not let the carrying pole to bind onto the bench
Is the carrying pole wider or the bench longer

The long river of history flows ahead
A sheep is asleep on the shore
A wolf is flowing in the water
The wolf wants to make the sheep its meal
The sheep wants the wolf to be its parent
The sheep wants to save the wolf, the wolf wants to eat the sheep
Don’t know if it’s the sheep saving the wolf or the wolf is eating the sheep
The whole world is laughing at China being stupid
We act foolishly and let the world praising us being so obedient
In New York Susanna hired Stern Hu to work under her
Wolfgang from Berlin makes phone calls to the leaders everyday
Various colored skins and hair
Come here to trick and swindle
For years the shoes, shirts and underwear we made
These years in exchange for their dumping investigation and technology embargo to blackmail us
To build the harmonious Chimerica
Such charitable Chinese people and such cheap Chinese goods

Could not finish the primary stage
The policy never changes in hundred years
Laobaixing (common people) have no money
Domestic goods are not selling well
All exports in exchange for dollars
US dollars depreciate in value greatly
Buy stocks and bonds
Simply cannot cash out
Money loves power, power loves money
Power exchange to endless money
Only holding power can’t make money
Only making money has no power
Might as well to have no money and power
In the end, does money control power or power controls money

The whole world is laughing at China being stupid
Selling rare earth minerals to foreigner at the same price as radishes
The whole world is laughing at China being stupid
The goods we deliver make the whole world praising us being so obedient
The whole world is laughing at China being stupid
The money we earn but store in someone else’s home
The whole world is laughing at China being stupid
The words we speak make the whole world praising us being so obedient

- Excuse me, which hospital did you escape from?
- Oh, over there!

Original song “Zhong Guo Hua” (中国话: Chinese language) by S.H.E.:

(If you cannot see YouTube videos in China, try use VPN software : Freedur,  and use coupon code CHINAHUSH to get 10% off. 
Don’t miss the  Freedur VPN subscription giveaways! ends Jan /21 )

Sources and recommended reading:

- Zhang Hongliang’s blog : 他们,唱出了席卷天地的民意大潮
- Sina: 北大考《中国话》是瞎掰? KUSO版入题韵脚造句
- Aboluowang.com

34 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Brian says:

    FYI 稀土 = rare earth minerals, not rare real estate.

    see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_earth_element
    and
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/business/global/01minerals.html
    for the current controversy in china w/r to the export of rare earth elements

  2. Wang Er says:

    We should make this song the official national anthem of PRC and sing it in every single flagraising ceremony, with tears, fist-shaking and gnashing of teeth! Much better than the current one, “as the Chinese nation faces its greatest peril, all forcefully expend their last cries”, too abstract.

    It’s time to pick up my “Unhappy China” now.

  3. jay says:

    Interesting and humorous – but I’m interested in Taiwanese SHE’s original song. Was SHE trying to suck up to the mainland authorities? While many of us have learned Chinese for various reasons it’s not necessarily because we are Sinophiles. SHEs original song is off the mark if they think people are learning Chinese because we necessarily admire most Chinese culture or the Chinese state.

    • The song–unveiled during the 2008 Spring Festival Gala, I think–is just chest-puffing. Is there a way in Chinese to say that the horse is patting its own butt?

      But like many such examples in today’s China, it bites both ways. The song seems to be a responding to the fact that in the modern era, the Chinese have had to work hard learning English (and other foreign languages), international standards of business and academics, etc. Now, with China’s rise, there’s the hope (in the song it seems more like a claim) that the world is listening more closely to Chinese opinions, and foreigners have to work hard learning Chinese language and culture. It’s a no-brainer why the song would appeal to the average overworked Chinese student, among others.

      But while there certainly is heightened interest in Chinese language and culture, the song’s claims seem overblown. I imagine this embittered KUSO is in response to how hollow the original’s claims might sometimes seem. Looking at both versions, it seems like we’re jumping from one extreme to the other.

      I guess it’d be too much to ask for SHE (or KUSO sound engineers) to make a song with a realistic, middle-of-the-road attitude towards globalism and relations between China and the rest of the world? :-)

      • Carl says:

        Here’s what I think: This song was published after S.H.E. proclaimed themselves as Taiwanese and not Chinese to the media. Which received massive backslash from their fans. And this song I think was kind of a reconciliation piece? Putting it into “historical” perspective.

        • voiceofhomer says:

          Taiwanese know these words or song very well, they just replace Taiwan with China that’s all.

          “The whole world is laughing at Taiwan being stupid
          Selling TVs and PCs to foreigner at the same price as radishes
          The whole world is laughing at Taiwan being stupid
          The goods we deliver make the whole world praising us being so obedient
          The whole world is laughing at Taiwan being stupid
          The money we earn but store in someone else’s home
          The whole world is laughing at Taiwan being stupid
          The words we speak make the whole world praising us being so obedient.”

          Taiwanese do not even live in or have their own country, they are a colony of Amerika for over 50 years, being good slave workers and always obedient to the white masters earns them the respect of the western world.

          And now the Taiwanese have to kiss a black man’s ass in Amerika, what a shame to have a black man as a slave master.

      • Marcos El Malo says:

        Overblown? Ninja, please! Not by the standards of rap. I didn’t catch any lyrics daring other languages to step up and get a cap in their ass, nor did the song refer to other nations as bitches and ho’s of China. Rap and hip hop have a strong tradition of hyperbolic claims of superiority, chest thumping, and “keeping it real”. The self-puffery in the S.H.E. video was mild in comparison.

        The KUSO parody gives me hope that we’ll soon start seeing rap acts like KMT feat. Dirty Old Chaing Kai and OG Sunny “Yacht” Sin.

  4. John says:

    I’m not sure what to make of the story, but… these 3 girls are mind-bogglingly cute! :) haha! Yeah.

  5. Vesper says:

    There’s more African-American culture in that video than Chinese!

    • ugly meathook reality says:

      well they wouldn’t want to come up with anything different,

      that obviously wouldn’t sell enough.. different = risky.

      that or they’re just uncreative drones, take your pick.

      oooo fireworks, fiat currency, consumerism, woop de doo..

  6. John says:

    There’s way too much hip-hop in Asian music in general these days. It sucks. They’re huge on hip-hop culture in South Korea, too. SUCKS. So much beauty and originality in Asian music, Chinese music, Japanese, Korean music, bring THAT to pop music and tell the Americans and their boring hip-hop garbage to stuff it. YOU take control, YOU show them good music. Tired of this hip-hop puke.

  7. Al Jensen says:

    Are that many people studying Mandarin now? Chinese characters are really really tiresome to learn.

    • Wang Er says:

      40 million plus overseas learners according to this article:

      http://www.gqb.gov.cn/news/2009/0203/1/12330.shtml

      • Yes, but can we trust the numbers provided by anything ending in .gov.cn? I’ve long had the impression that they’ve been inflating those numbers, too. I mean, how do you end up at that number, 40 million?

        Lets see, we start with all the overseas Chinese who go to a ‘Chinese’ school in after hours to make sure their kids can still speak the mother tongue. Then we add in all the college students. Many of whom might take a semester of Chinese and then drop it. Finally we add in the miniscule number of elementary/high school students who have the option of learning Chinese; again, probably not required to spend full 4 years or more on it. I chose Latin back in the day, since it was the most ‘exotic’ language offered at my school. If they’d had Chinese, Japanese, or Russian, I might have gone for one of them. Why not?

        So is 40 million a ridiculous or an accurate number? I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it’s not quite the ‘surge of interest’ that it’s being portrayed as back in China. I’m not saying I don’t think it would be good for more people to learn Chinese–why not? I am–but here in China, the news pieces on the ‘phenomenon’ always come off with a whiff of petty chauvinism that make me tend to doubt their sincerity in purpose and method.

        • Wang Er says:

          @Dr. Jones Jr.

          “can we trust the numbers provided by anything ending in .gov.cn? ”

          That article is a repost from CRI. 40 million is the figure released by the Composition of the Chinese Language Council International. Though one should always question data from any government agencies, that’s the only authoritative figure available.

          The article doesn’t say what level of learners these 40 million people are so it’s possible that short-term learners were counted. However, the trend should be obvious that more people are learning Chinese than before given the fact that exchange of information is more frequent today.

          Do I think it’s chauvinism? No. Because you also see a rapid increase of number of (more) Chinese people who are learning foreign languages. Pretty much every Chinese high school kids are learning some English and in areas that have stronger business connection to Japan and Korea, like Shandong and Liaoning, there are huge demand in language services that many schools have Japanese and/or Korean classes. IMO It’s more like a culture pride thing than chauvinism and I believe most Chinese people think the same. No need to be that sensitive.

  8. Joe_USA says:

    I applaud John’s rejection of hip-hop in China. I have long told my Chinese friends that the two greatest weapons the US has against China are (1) Christianity, and (2) hip-hop music. They are societal cancers that will, over time, decay the cultural foundations of the country. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  9. Jd Webb says:

    Found your blog on Yahoo

  10. LiZhou says:

    Yea CH thanks for Deleting my comment.
    Real Mature, and for a while i thought this site was about constructive views on China

  11. Jade says:

    I had to study Chinese as a child but China wasn’t doing well back then and my parents didn’t push me so I was happy to drop out as soon as I could. Now, I’m living testimony to the failure of bilingual education lol

    By the way, there was a backlash against S.H.E for pandering to the mainland after they released that song so some people made the “Taiwanese Independence” Kuso version in which “The whole world is learning Taiwanese.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwFcP1szh4g

    I found it a hoot since my mother’s side is from Chaoshan area and I understand Minnan (southern Fujian) dialects (including “Taiwanese”) pretty well.

  12. samuel welsh says:

    this musics beaut

  13. frikitiki says:

    Chinese are sheep. Manipulated and brutally controlled by their “government.” It’s a sick society where their sons (after aborting their daughters by the millions) are the army that keeps them enslaved to the tiny, evil cabal at the top. Is the whole world laughing a China? If they aren’t, they should be. You people make the best sheeple in the world and refuse to fight for your rights. Yeah, I gotta LOL at that.

    • voiceofhomer says:

      (after aborting their daughters by the millions)

      Just watched a dumbass Canadian made TV movie “The dim sum funeral.”

      It’s about a Chinese expat family living in the USA, all the daughter bitches are making babies of “Various colored skins and hair” and fucking all over the place.

      What a jackass crap movie.

      “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”

      And every TV commercial has a black guy or gal in it, what no other color in Canada or the USA?

      Now there was this one with a black guy driving a BMW with a Chinese looking gal in the car and a Chinese looking guy driving a US made car.

      What dumbass China men want to seen in a USA made car, in Amerika even?

      And what about a black doctor, a black boss of an all white company and a black home owner with a white wife and 4 mixed kids?

      But no China men in any TV ad, only Chinese bitches with whiteys or blackies.

      What a fucked up country we have here.

  14. cindy says:

    frikitiki:

    So what are you may I ask? Are you working hard collecting minimum wage or working the gov’t hard collecting welfare? Are you an ant or locust? Did you ask your parents why they didn’t use a condom?

    I have learned in the past the people who laugh the loudest at the minimum wage workers are usually people collecting welfare from gov’t. These people their philosophy and goal in life is to get every free from the hard working taxpayers.

    L O C U S T S too many of them on the planet, not enough ants.

  15. voiceofhomer says:

    “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
    China gives money to Amerika and the Amerikans use the Chinese money to build bigger army to surround China.

    “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
    China spends $billions of dollars to help South Asia like Burma and now SA is going back to kissing the west’s ass and liking it.

    “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
    China helped build up Brazil and Afrika, and now they are kissing Obamarama’s ass.

    “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
    China has $trillions of dollars to give to the 3rd world countries but none for their poor peasants in the rural areas and villages of China.

    “The whole world is laughing at China being stupid”
    Time for China to find a leader with iron balls, not just niceness.

    But China will still and will make me proud.

  16. fuk chyna says:

    sick country, sick history and sick treatment of animals.

  17. Andre says:

    Please learn English! I don’t understand the half of it. Jesus such a thick accent !

  18. ashanesno says:

    Because they are stupid, period!! They have no imagination, no consideration of others, just little greedy ugly little mother fuckers!!

  19. asdf says:

    idiot sht

  20. frikitiki says:

    Are you sooo simple minded that you can’t even use your own words to reply (like a little crybaby)? Oh and brainiac, why do you assume I’m American? Because I use english? You are pathetic and again, simple minded. Sorry that you can’t handle the truth. Now go, run along little slave and make me an ipad before you drop dead from liver cancer, since about 400 million of you are infected with hep b (how bout YOU learn to use a condom, fatass??). Oh, don’t even bother, just kill yourself now.

  21. voiceofhomer says:

    Nope, he is not Amerikan.

    He is a black Afrikan living in the USA like he was a whitey in Amerikan.

    Just another brainwashed fat asshole Yankee.

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