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草泥马 (cǎonímǎ): grass-mud horse
 
草泥马 (cǎonímǎ): grass-mud horse
  
[[File:gmh1.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''While originally conceived as a zebra, the grass-mud horse is now depicted as an alpaca.'']]
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[[File:gmh1.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''Originally conceived as a zebra, the grass-mud horse is now an alpaca.'']]
  
The grass-mud horse, which sounds nearly the same in Chinese as “f**k your mother” (肏你妈 cào nǐ mā), was created as a way to get around and poke fun at government censorship of vulgar content. The idea caught fire after netizens made a video depicting the grass-mud horse at war with and eventually defeating the [[river crab]] (河蟹 héxiè), a homonym for the propaganda catchword “harmony” (和谐 héxié). Netizens continually expanded the lore of the grass-mud horse by creating [http://youtu.be/wKx1aenJK08 catchy songs], [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/04/where-is-the-country-of-grass-mud-horses/ photo albums of its natural habitat], and [http://youtu.be/GOqeq-p5dYE fake nature documentaries] on YouTube and other video sharing sites.  
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The grass-mud horse, which sounds nearly the same in Mandarin as “f**k your mother” (肏你妈 cào nǐ mā), was created as a way to get around government censorship of vulgar content. The idea caught fire after netizens made a video depicting the grass-mud horse defeating the [[river crab]] (河蟹 héxiè), a homonym for the propaganda catchword “harmony” (和谐 héxié). Netizens continually expanded the lore of the grass-mud horse by composing [http://youtu.be/wKx1aenJK08 catchy songs], [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/04/where-is-the-country-of-grass-mud-horses/ photo albums of its natural habitat], and [http://youtu.be/GOqeq-p5dYE fake nature documentaries] on YouTube and other video sharing sites.  
  
The phrase is especially meaningful on a political level because the Communist Party is often described as “the mother” of the people--“f**k your mother” can also suggest “f**k the Party.” The grass-mud horse is one of many [[mythical creatures]] created by netizens in response to increasingly strict censorship measures.
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The Communist Party is often described as “the mother” of the people, so “f**k your mother” also suggests “f**k the Party.” The grass-mud horse is one of many [[mythical creatures]] invented by netizens in response to increasingly strict censorship measures.
  
The term has since developed an additional meaning: a “grass-mud horse” is someone who is web-savvy and critical of government attempts at censorship. As one Chinese blogger explains, “‘Grass-Mud Horse’ represents information and opinions that cannot be accepted by the mainstream discourse, and ‘The Song of the Grass Mud Horse’ has become a [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/03/cui-weiping-崔卫平-i-am-a-grass-mud-horse/ metaphor of the power struggle over Internet expression].”
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A “grass-mud horse” is someone who is web-savvy and critical of government attempts at censorship. As one Chinese blogger explains, “‘Grass-Mud Horse’ represents information and opinions that cannot be accepted by the mainstream discourse, and ‘The Song of the Grass Mud Horse’ has become a [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/03/cui-weiping-崔卫平-i-am-a-grass-mud-horse/ metaphor of the power struggle over Internet expression].”
  
[[File:gmh2.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''The grass-mud horse, originally just a thinly veiled profanity, has become a potent political symbol. Here a grass-mud horse is shown in place of “tank man,” who stood before the tanks as they rolled into Tiananmen Square.'']]  
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[[File:gmh2.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''A grass-mud horse in place of “Tank Man,” who stood before the tanks as they rolled into Tiananmen Square.'']]  
  
 
[[File:gmh3.png|250px|thumb|left|''Paying respects to a snow grass-mud horse.'']]
 
[[File:gmh3.png|250px|thumb|left|''Paying respects to a snow grass-mud horse.'']]
  
[[File:gmh4.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''Made up character combining components of the characters, grass, mud and horse'']]
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[[File:gmh4.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''New character combining components of “grass,” “mud,and “horse.”'']]
  
 
[[File:gmh5.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''[[Crouching grass-mud horse]].'']]
 
[[File:gmh5.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''[[Crouching grass-mud horse]].'']]
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''Grass-mud horse army.'']]
 
''Grass-mud horse army.'']]
  
<feed url="feed://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/grass-mud-horse/feed/" entries="10">
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<feed url="feed://chinadigitaltimes.net/china-news/translation/gmh/feed/" entries="10">
  
 
== [{PERMALINK} {TITLE}] ==
 
== [{PERMALINK} {TITLE}] ==

Revision as of 21:46, 2 April 2013

草泥马 (cǎonímǎ): grass-mud horse

Originally conceived as a zebra, the grass-mud horse is now an alpaca.

The grass-mud horse, which sounds nearly the same in Mandarin as “f**k your mother” (肏你妈 cào nǐ mā), was created as a way to get around government censorship of vulgar content. The idea caught fire after netizens made a video depicting the grass-mud horse defeating the river crab (河蟹 héxiè), a homonym for the propaganda catchword “harmony” (和谐 héxié). Netizens continually expanded the lore of the grass-mud horse by composing catchy songs, photo albums of its natural habitat, and fake nature documentaries on YouTube and other video sharing sites.

The Communist Party is often described as “the mother” of the people, so “f**k your mother” also suggests “f**k the Party.” The grass-mud horse is one of many mythical creatures invented by netizens in response to increasingly strict censorship measures.

A “grass-mud horse” is someone who is web-savvy and critical of government attempts at censorship. As one Chinese blogger explains, “‘Grass-Mud Horse’ represents information and opinions that cannot be accepted by the mainstream discourse, and ‘The Song of the Grass Mud Horse’ has become a metaphor of the power struggle over Internet expression.”

A grass-mud horse in place of “Tank Man,” who stood before the tanks as they rolled into Tiananmen Square.
Paying respects to a snow grass-mud horse.
New character combining components of “grass,” “mud,” and “horse.”
Grass-mud horse army.