Personal tools
Views

Difference between revisions of "Demolish it"

From China Digital Space

Jump to: navigation, search
Line 1: Line 1:
拆哪 (chāi nǎ) demolish it.
+
拆哪 (chāi nǎ) Demolish it; literally “Where to demolish?”
  
This sounds the same in Chinese (''chāi na'') as the English pronunciation of China. The first character means “demolish” and has a special meaning in China. Housing demolitions, with little or no compensation, are one of the major sources of social instability in China. People become upset not only because of the low compensation but because they see their homes sold to developers in a transaction in which the developers and the government profit greatly but the original owners lose out. The second character means "where or which." Hence, "''chāi nǎ''" also sounds like the question, "Demolish where?" and mocks the ubiquity of demolitions.
+
[[File:demolishit1.jpg|300px|thumb|left|]] Chāi na mimics the English “China.” Chāi 拆, “demolish,” has a special meaning in China. Housing demolitions, often forced on tenants with little or no compensation, are one of the major sources of social instability in China. Developers and the local government profit greatly from [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/02/scenes-from-a-forced-demolition/ forcibly evicting] people from their homes and rebuilding on the land. Anger over eviction and demolition lead the people of [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/wukan/ Wukan], Guangdong to fight the local government, eventually laying siege to their village in December 2011.
  
Frequently in China one sees spray-painted on sides of buildings the character “拆” which means that the building is slated for demolition. People who have had their homes demolished are called 拆迁户.  
+
Nǎ 哪 means “where” or “which.” Hence, “chāi nǎ” also sounds like the question, "Demolish where?" and mocks the ubiquity of demolition.
  
Read more on this topic on China Digital Times as [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/building-demolition/ here], [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/destruction-of-old-cities/ here] and [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/forced-evictions/ here].
+
All over China, one sees “拆” spray-painted on the sides of buildings slated for demolition. People who have had their homes demolished are called chāiqiānhù 拆迁户.  
  
[[File:demolishit1.jpg|600px|thumb|center|]]
+
Victor Mair has a collection of nicknames for China, including chāi nǎ, at [http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4026 Language Log].
  
[[File:demolishit2.jpg|600px|thumb|center|''Bulldozer with the character, "demolish" written on it. The bulldozer is shown as the extension of the bureaucratic arm.'']]
+
<feed url="feed://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/forced-demolition/feed/" entries="5">
 +
== [{PERMALINK} {TITLE}] ==
 +
'''{DATE}, by {AUTHOR}'''
 +
</feed>
  
[[File:demolishit3.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''"demolish"'']]
+
[[File:demolishit2.jpg|600px|thumb|center|''Bulldozer with the character “demolish” written on it. The bulldozer is shown as the extension of the bureaucratic arm.'']]
 +
 
 +
[[File:demolishit3.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''“demolish”'']]
  
 
[[File:demolishit4.jpg|600px|thumb|center]]
 
[[File:demolishit4.jpg|600px|thumb|center]]
  
[[File:demolishit5.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''"Worshipping the God of Wealth" who is shown as the head of demolitions awarding a contract to a developer in exchange for a gold ingot. The head of demolitions is wearing a robe emblazoned with the character for corrupt.'']]
+
[[File:demolishit5.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''The “God of Wealth” is the head of demolitions, wearing a robe emblazoned with the character “corrupt.” He is awarding a contract to a developer in exchange for a gold ingot.'']]
  
[[File:demolishit6.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''Large "demolish" character atop of which sits a pile of cash labeled "salary."''
+
[[File:demolishit6.jpg|400px|thumb|center|''This man’s salary lays atop a large “demolish” character.''
 
]]
 
]]
  
[[File:chaina.jpg]]
+
[[File:chaina.jpg|400px|thumb|center]]
  
 
[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]
 
[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]

Revision as of 20:30, 26 June 2012

拆哪 (chāi nǎ) Demolish it; literally “Where to demolish?”

Demolishit1.jpg
Chāi na mimics the English “China.” Chāi 拆, “demolish,” has a special meaning in China. Housing demolitions, often forced on tenants with little or no compensation, are one of the major sources of social instability in China. Developers and the local government profit greatly from forcibly evicting people from their homes and rebuilding on the land. Anger over eviction and demolition lead the people of Wukan, Guangdong to fight the local government, eventually laying siege to their village in December 2011.

Nǎ 哪 means “where” or “which.” Hence, “chāi nǎ” also sounds like the question, "Demolish where?" and mocks the ubiquity of demolition.

All over China, one sees “拆” spray-painted on the sides of buildings slated for demolition. People who have had their homes demolished are called chāiqiānhù 拆迁户.

Victor Mair has a collection of nicknames for China, including chāi nǎ, at Language Log.

Bulldozer with the character “demolish” written on it. The bulldozer is shown as the extension of the bureaucratic arm.
“demolish”
Demolishit4.jpg
The “God of Wealth” is the head of demolitions, wearing a robe emblazoned with the character “corrupt.” He is awarding a contract to a developer in exchange for a gold ingot.
This man’s salary lays atop a large “demolish” character.
Chaina.jpg