Word of the Week: Your Country
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.
Play on “my country” (我国 wǒ guó), a common reference to China.
Calling China “my country” is nothing new or uncommon; Japanese and Korean use the same reference for their respective countries. But netizens have taken to subverting the literal meaning of “my country,” as CDT founder Xiao Qiang explains at Foreign Policy:
The phrase has been popping up as a hashtag in posts or embedded as a subversive barb. But Xiao said the term is mostly used by “politically liberal, pro-human rights” and pro-democracy netizens, and that it is deployed against opponents who are “pro-[party], nationalistic netizens.” Xiao said it’s a way to battle the propaganda that assumes a Chinese citizen is a party supporter. In short, it’s a way of saying, “Your China is not my China.” [Source]
Terms like “your country” separate the Chinese Communist Party from the state, which are often conflated in official rhetoric.
@showmethepath: Your country regards itself as an ancient civilization with five thousand years of history, but now all your reality TV shows are copied from the bangzi. And you have the nerve to say the bangzi have no culture. (July 2, 2015)
Want to learn more subversive netspeak? Check out Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang. Available for $2.99 in the Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes stores. All proceeds from the sale of this eBook support China Digital Times.