I Love the Chinese Dream; A Coffee, Please, and Cream

Young Chinese at home and abroad may be outspokenly nationalistic, but that nationalism is more nuanced than often credited. Territorial disputes can provoke protest and xenophobia, but also sardonic online poetry.

While the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute simmers, some Japanese expats in China are trying to keep tempers from boiling over, according to a post now making the rounds:

Shitouma911 (@石头妈911): My colleague just told me the funniest thing. He has a friend who lives in Gubei. A lot of little Japanese live there. He was shopping in the market one day when he heard a little Japanese nearby buying meat. He didn’t ask the price, but started instead with this: “The are China’s, I’d like to buy some meat.”

刚才听到同事说的一件事,笑死我了。有朋友住古北,那边住的小日本比较多,有天去菜场买菜,听到一小日本在旁边要买肉,首先不是问多少钱,而是说:钓鱼岛是中国的,我买肉。

The original post is no longer on Shitouma911’s profile, but screenshots and the quoted text continue to circulate on Weibo. It’s as if the Japanese expat (derided as “little”) had to state the politically correct territorial claim in order to feed himself. The post has inspired netizens to invent their own rhyming couplets that reimagine  as prerequisites to ordering at a restaurant, running errands, or getting out of a cab. Without the comment thread attached to the vanished post by Shitouma911, it would be difficult to find the first couplet—but whoever did started a real trend. The post had 5,342 comments when this screenshot was taken:

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CDT has translated a few and included the pinyin transcription to give a sense of the rhyme:

SinueL (@肆虐L): I swear my life to Daddy Xi, no pepper in those spuds for me.

Shìsǐ xiàozhōng Xí Dàdà, hóngshāo tǔdòu bié fàng là.

誓死效忠习大大,红烧土豆别放辣。

Guiye-Ghost (@鬼爷-Ghost): I love Beijing Tiananmen, a plate of braised shrimp’s what I’ll have.

Wǒ ài Běijīng Tiān’ānmén, yóumèn dàxiā lái yī pén.

我爱北京天安门,油焖大虾来一盆。

FSerBisheng_En (@FSer毕笙_En): Socialism is good, so are Weilong latiao snacks.

Shèhuìzhǔyì jiùshì hǎo, Wèilóng là tiáo shǎobuliǎo.

社会主义就是好,卫龙辣条少不了。

Jizhideyangmao (@机智的羊猫): I love my country, I love the Party, I love the people, and driver, I’d love to get out over there.

Àiguó ài dǎng ài rénmín, shīfu qiánmian tíng yī tíng.

爱国爱党爱人民,师傅前面停一停。

Mengxiangdepintu (@梦想的拼图): Strike the tigers and the flies, a dozen egg tarts, please.

Cāngying lǎohǔ yīqǐ dǎ, Púshì dàntǎ lái yī dǎ.

苍蝇老虎一起打,葡式蛋挞来一打。

Xiajianghuacs (@夏江华cs): I have a truly Chinese heart, a pack of TP for my cart!

Wǒ yǒu yī kē Zhōngguó xīn, lǎobǎn lái bāo wèishēngjīn!

我有一颗中国心,老板来包卫生巾!

Read more couplets at CDT Chinese.