Shunkouliu

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Perry Link: Rhymes Against the State

Perry Link, a co-editor of “The Tiananmen Papers,” teaches at the University of California-Riverside. He wrote this piece in the Washington Post: In Imperial China, emperors and other high officials sometimes...

Political Satire: Sketch of Officials

According to scholars, the oral tradition of satiric “shunkouliu” or “slippery jingles”, which are often political in nature, can be traced back all the way to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). While state-controlled media is still...

New Drinking Songs

Political jingles are not new in China. Even in Mao’s time, powerless people at the bottom of society used jingles to express themselves (often in the form of veiled criticism, sarcasm or anger, in reaction to the...

Folk Pokes From The People’s Congress

The folk tradition of making up shunkouliu, doggerel satire known among Sinologists as “slippery jingles”, thrives today in the Chinese vernacular – mostly in the form of politically tinged gripes about social...

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