The slang term 小资（xiao3 zi1) came up over dinner with my friends Min and Kai. I was discussing a Website I liked, and Min responded, “I don’t like that site. It’s too 小资.” Well, I had never heard the term. What is it? Min responded: “I don’t know how to translate it. People who are xiao zi like Western things, like to drink coffee at cafes…Shanghai is a very 小资.”
Quiz: Here’s 20 questions to determine if you or your Chinese friend is Xiaozi
Are they jaded about Chinese national events, and resist being defined by “official” and mainstream culture?
Do they like to sit in cafes? Do they like to drink coffee?
Do they appreciate red wine (and really appreciate it, not mix it with Coke)?
Do they crave outbound travel? Do they want to visit Tibet?
Are they focused on self-expression through fashion? Do they look down on people who spend money on brands without true appreciation of fashion?
Do they sometimes have a sense of being somehow different from the rest of society? That they are seeking something that cannot be found?
Do they use their English name, even with other Chinese people?
Do they like to socialize with foreigners? Do they like to date foreigners?
Are they picky in their love life? Do they feel that most traditional members of the opposite sex don’t understand their love of life, and their need for creative self-definition? Attitude of “if I’m not in love, I’d rather die”
Do they like foreign hobbies like Yoga? or Salza dancing?