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五月三十五日 (wǔ yuè sānshíwǔ rì): Thirty-Fifth of May
 
五月三十五日 (wǔ yuè sānshíwǔ rì): Thirty-Fifth of May
  
In China, important dates are usually referred to by the date on which they occurred. Thus, the Tiananmen Square Incident is usually referred to in Chinese as the “June 4th Incident” or simply as “June 4th” or “six, four.” However, June 4th is a [[sensitive word]] that alerts web censors, so netizens sometimes use the word “May 35” to refer to the Tiananmen Square Incident.
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[[File:tiananmen.jpg|250px|thumb|left|''Protesters in Tiananmen, 1989.'']]In China, important dates are usually referred to by the date on which they occurred. The Tiananmen Square Massacre is called “June 4th,” or simply “Six-Four” (六四 liùsì), and often written as “64.” Since these terms are all [[sensitive porcelain|sensitive words]] that alert web censors, netizens came up with a new way to mark the date, writing instead about the “Thirty-Fifth of May.
  
For example, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, the following essays quietly circulated in the Chinese blogosphere. [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/06/personal-history-a-june-deserter/ This one] is written by an anonymous author calling himself Deserter.  [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/06/the-adventures-of-an-average-city-dweller/ Another one] is a Kafkaesque story about a visit to Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 2009,  written by a blogger using the name 十七只猫和鱼 (Seventeen Cats and Fish), who codes key phrases (“something something square,” etc) in order to bypass censors.
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In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, blog posts by [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/06/personal-history-a-june-deserter/ “Deserter”] and [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/06/the-adventures-of-an-average-city-dweller/ “17 Cats and Fish”] reflected boldly on the time and place. “17” bypassed censors with references to “Something Something Square.
  
See CDT's [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/1989-20-years/ retrospective look at June 4th].
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Novelist Yu Hua described the “spirit of May 35th”—in essence [[grass-mud horse|grass-mud horsism]]—in a 2011 [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/06/yu-hua-the-spirit-of-may-35th/ essay] for the New York Times.
  
[[File:tiananmen.jpg|400px|thumb|left|]]
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As the censors catch on to code words for Tiananmen, netizens must find more and more veiled terms. In June 2013, even [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2013/06/sensitive-words-24th-anniversary-of-tiananmen/ the number “35” was blocked from search results on Sina Weibo].
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<feed url="feed://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/1989-protests/feed/" entries="5">
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== [{PERMALINK} {TITLE}] ==
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'''{DATE}, by {AUTHOR}'''
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[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]
 
[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]

Revision as of 13:05, 11 June 2013

五月三十五日 (wǔ yuè sānshíwǔ rì): Thirty-Fifth of May

Protesters in Tiananmen, 1989.

In China, important dates are usually referred to by the date on which they occurred. The Tiananmen Square Massacre is called “June 4th,” or simply “Six-Four” (六四 liùsì), and often written as “64.” Since these terms are all sensitive words that alert web censors, netizens came up with a new way to mark the date, writing instead about the “Thirty-Fifth of May.”

In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, blog posts by “Deserter” and “17 Cats and Fish” reflected boldly on the time and place. “17” bypassed censors with references to “Something Something Square.”

Novelist Yu Hua described the “spirit of May 35th”—in essence grass-mud horsism—in a 2011 essay for the New York Times.

As the censors catch on to code words for Tiananmen, netizens must find more and more veiled terms. In June 2013, even the number “35” was blocked from search results on Sina Weibo.