Word of the Week: Kneeling Country

The  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.

跪国 guì guó

This cartoon mocking mainland protesters in Hong Kong combines the characters "kneel" and "country" into one. (Artist: Rebel Pepper)

This cartoon mocking mainland protesters in Hong Kong combines the characters “kneel” and “country” into one. (Artist: )

China, a country whose citizens feel compelled to grovel for what is rightfully theirs; alternate writing of expensive country (贵国 guì guó), itself a play on the honorific address guì, thus distancing the speaker from their own country.

will often kneel in front of government buildings and officials to attract public attention to their grievances.

In August 2014, Chinese political cartoonist Rebel Pepper posted a cartoon depicting organized mainland protesters in Hong Kong as red-skinned slaves to luxury brands, crawling through the streets on their knees and shouting, “Let’s show Hong Kongers what it means to kneel for your country!” (給香港人示範一下什麼叫愛“跪國”主義!) Soon after the cartoon was posted, Rebel Pepper was called a “traitor” who “publicly idolizes Japan.” He was in Japan when the accusations were leveled, and he has remained there since.

See also expensive country.

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