China’s Original Social Media: Bathroom Graffiti

China’s Original Social Media: Bathroom Graffiti

At Tea Leaf Nation, Warner Brown surveys the commercial and occasionally political messages scribbled or stenciled onto the walls of China’s bus station bathroom stalls:

The men’s room in the passenger station in Qujing, Yunnan province will be familiar to anyone who has answered the call of nature in one of China’s provincial bus stations. Dim fluorescent lights give a clinical blue pallor to the bleary-eyed, fidgety travelers waiting their turn for the urinals and stalls lining either wall. The air is a haze of cigarette fumes, and the smell a dizzying blend of waste and smoke. […] Ensconced in one particular stall and preparing to assume the squatting position, a traveler will pull the door shut and be greeted by the following message:

Overthrow the Communist Party! Join [online messenger QQ] group [number obscured by editors] and rise up! We want fairness, justice, and democracy, and we oppose dictatorship and corruption!打倒共产党!加群【删除】起义!要公平、正义、民主、反独裁及贪污!

Above the message one can make out in large, faint script “Long live the Communist Party, long live Chairman Mao,” a pair of slogans from the Cultural Revolution which someone may have written in earnest or jest. […] The call to arms is just one part of a lively conversation that a hypothetical traveler could peruse at his leisure while attending to his primary task. [Source]

Global Times reported last week that Guangdong plans to introduce 100 yuan fines next month for a different kind of bathroom spraying, though it has not revealed how this will be enforced. Last year, Beijing introduced a limit of two flies per stall.

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