ECNU students 'battle' against Chinese appellation
Updated: 2017-04-01

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International students from East China Normal University learn Chinese appellation on March 29. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]

International students from East China Normal University (ECNU) spent an afternoon "battling" against Chinese appellation, or titles, on March 29.

The activity had active participation by students from South Korea, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, and Mongolia, trying their utmost to climb the cultural "Qomolangma" (Mount Everest).

Shortly after the activity began, the students could not wait to share their embarrassing moments of addressing people improperly, filling the room with much laughter while also striking a chord amongst each other.

They showed great interest in what to call family members, especially the difference between paternal and maternal relatives.

"Why is the word 'uncle' not enough to call both my father's and mother's brothers in China?" one student asked.

"That's because of the complex cultural background behind the term," the host explained patiently, describing the development of Chinese appellation to the significance of proper address.

The students also marveled at a smart app used to help "calculate" the correct Chinese appellation, "I will always use it when meeting new friends!" one student exclaimed.

They also gained insight into several up-to-date addresses, such as the "little fairy", a term of self-mockery by Chinese young girls to express their averseness to heavy make-up and flared clothing, and pursuit of simplicity and elegance.

The activity ended with a quiz questioning what the students have learned. The winners were also awarded postcards and notebooks with various Chinese titles.

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Students who attended the Chinese appellation activity pose for a group photo. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]

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