Word of the Week: Stupid Sessions

The  comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.

Mo Yan, whose pen name means “Don’t Speak,” told reporters that he had “nothing to say" at the Congress. Another celebrity delegate, actress Song Dandan, explained that she “still didn’t understand” her role and was “here to learn.” When the media approached director Chen Kaige, he simply said, “I haven’t prepared any motions. I’m going to lunch first.”

Mo Yan (left), whose pen name means “Don’t Speak,” told reporters that he had “nothing to say” at the Congress. Another celebrity delegate, actress Song Dandan (center), explained that she “still didn’t understand” her role and was “here to learn.” When the media approached director Chen Kaige (right), he simply said, “I haven’t prepared any motions. I’m going to lunch first.”

二会 (Èr Huì): Stupid Sessions

A tongue-in-cheek reference to the 2013 National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. These annual meetings are known collectively as the “Two Sessions.” The Chinese numeral two is 二 èr, but in most contexts the word 两 liǎng is used instead. Thus the Two Sessions are 两会 Liǎng Huì, not 二会 Èr Huì. In slang, 二 is short for “stupid,” from 二百五 èr bǎi wǔ (literally “two-hundred fifty”).

Netizens view the “Stupid Sessions” as a pointless, bizarre pageant, where movie stars and other celebrities are brought to Beijing to “represent” the Chinese people and “vote” on legislation they barely understand.