The Word of the Week comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and 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.
贾君鹏，你妈妈喊你回家吃饭 (Jiǎ Jūnpéng, nǐ māma hǎn nǐ huíjiā chīfàn): Jia Junpeng, your mother is calling you home for dinner
World of Warcraft meme; variations replace Jia Junpeng with the name of detained activists to call attention to their plight and show support.
On July 16, 2009, this message was posted anonymously to Baidu’s World of Warcraft forum. Within two days, the stream had garnered eight million views and over 300,000 comments. It became a massively popular Internet meme, spawning countless Photoshopped images and much commentary on the social significance of the original post.
On the very same day that Jia Junpeng achieved Internet stardom, blogger Guo Baofeng (a.k.a. Peter Guo, and@amoiist on Twitter) was arrested after posting information about an alleged gang-rape and murder by local officials in Mawei, Fujian. After covertly snatching back his cellphone, Guo informed his Twitter followers that he was under arrest (Twitter was still accessible in China at the time). One of his followers asked Web users to send postcards to the jail in which Guo was being held, and images with the message “Guo Baofeng, your mother is calling you home for dinner” began to circulate widely online. Guo was released 16 days later. He has blogged about his detention.
In July 2013, when outspoken rock singer Wu Hongfei was detained for comments she made online, netizens resurrected the meme and began circulating images calling her home for dinner.
Can’t get enough of subversive Chinese netspeak? Check out our latest ebook, “Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang.” Includes dozens of new terms and classic catchphrases, presented in a new, image-rich format. Available for pay-what-you-want (including nothing). All proceeds support CDT.