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.
fàn zuì 饭醉: get rice-drunk
Discuss or engage with politically sensitive issues, usually as a group over a meal; homonymous with “commit a crime” (fàn zuì 犯罪).
The Chinese party-state is suspicious of a broad range of social activities, many of which are considered innocuous in other countries. Thus activists and government critics reclaim the sense of “committing a crime” when they “get rice-drunk” with like-minded people. The New Citizens Movement, spearheaded by Xu Zhiyong, encouraged Chinese citizens to organize “same-city dinner gatherings” (tóngchéng jùcān 同城聚餐) to discuss political and social issues; some activists call these gatherings “getting rice-drunk in the same city” (tóngchéng fàn zuì 同城饭醉).
Mayuqingfeng (@马玉清风): Rice-drunkards, empower yourselves by “coalescing common understanding among same-city citizens”! (April 28, 2013)
Beiwaiqiaomu (@北外乔木): Older Brother Yu Jianrong (@于建嵘) describes how the old proletariat novel “My Father Is a Crook” is being adapted into a film. In order to get it past the censors, show positive energy and the main theme, and to correctly guide the youth, I suggest we change the name to “My Father Is a Secretary” (according to an alternate title for the book). I’ll bring it up tonight when my friends come to the capital to get rice-drunk. (July 24, 2015)
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.