Overseas students delve into China's online culture
Updated: 2017-03-09

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A group of international students from East China Normal University pose for a photo after taking part in a Chinese corner activity about popular Chinese internet buzzwords and memes on March 1. [Photo from WeChat account ecnuiso]

East China Normal University (ECNU) hosted a novel Chinese corner activity about popular Chinese internet buzzwords and memes on March 1.

Several students from Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Myanmar were attracted by the event, eager to know more about China’s cyber culture.

The students were convulsed with laughter by the social media parlance, such as the popular phrase "single dog", referring to singles of marriageable age. Though calling someone a "dog" is an insult in Chinese culture, the meme has been in vogue but more as a term of self-mockery among members of this group.

Other words or phrases frequently employed when chatting online also roused mirth, including the saying "the friend ship sinks only too quick", which is used if someone loses weight successfully, and "Beijing slouching", which describes a comfortable but lazy way of sitting made famous by a clip of the Chinese comedian Ge You slouching during a television show. The clip went viral in July 2016 and has even been turned into an emoji icon.

Another popular phrase was "small target", referring to Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s suggestion that young men should set themselves a small target of earning 100 million yuan ($14 million) before they think about bigger things.

The students enthusiastically took part in pairing the buzzwords and memes. They also received several delicate gifts, such as pens engraved with Peking Opera masks, Chinese calligraphy equipment, and cutlery printed with the ECNU logo.

They regarded the activity as very fruitful and interesting, and said they were eager to share the buzzwords with their friends and take part in similar activities in the future.

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A popular meme describing the Chinese phrase "the friend ship sinks only too quickly", which refers to the problems that can arise in a relationship if one friend loses weight. [Photo from Weibo]

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