Song of the Day – 周杰倫 (Jay Chou’s) 退後

While this song doesn’t necessarily represent my musical taste, I want to share it with you for several reasons. Mostly, because I remember how much I’d wanted to get familiar with Chinese pop culture back in Europe and was completely lost where to start my search. Thus, I’ve decided to, henceforth, post some mainstream trends here. Not only that he’s considered by many to be a hero here in China with his talented, emotional songs, his videos also reflect some Chinese cultural phenomena, to which I’ll now have the chance to relate here. He has composed many of his own songs, which had turned out to be huge hits and is considered an idol for many young people.

Jay Chou – Tui Hou

First, Chinese people love subtitles. It will prove useful for the karaoke afternoons and evenings for millions of young and old around.

Second, look at the chick in the video. Apparently, she symbolizes the ideal Chinese woman. According to some friends of mine here, a girl is found attractive if she has long, natural looking dark hair, whiter than white spotless skin, narrow cheekbones with heart- shaped face and small lips. The golden rule is to blend in since artsy-fartsy unique is not that hurrayed. (They’re perhaps more tolerant with me, since I’m a foreigner).

One last thing I’ve always thought puzzling was the concept of politeness in Chinese everyday culture. Well, while they would be very careful not to offend one another with private questions about their relationship or emotional problems at home, work and so on, I find they are super open to talk about their wage, how much their bf/gf earns and how much they spend on whatnot. Apart from money being the central topic for conversations, they sometimes throw comments at you, like Oh, you look fat/old/bad in this picture. or Yes, you know, she is ugly. No inhibitions, whatsoever. I kind of appreciate that, helps me trim my ego, but sometimes find it too harsh to rule out the concept of subjectivity of beauty. Plus there’s other forms of self-expressions out there.

Oh, by the way, a Colombian friend of mine said the other day, that he’s convinced most men prefer women with long hair and they tend to associate short-haired girls with their mums and grannies. (yet another sign I’m turning into one. Please, send the gift vouchers for the latest knitting-sets to my Pearly address. I think I’ll make a nice warm sweater for Czuczu).

Bueno, also true that I was linked to Andy Warhol with this new do of mine. Well, maybe, maybe. My name deffo rhymes to it, so no hard feelings.

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4 Responses to Song of the Day – 周杰倫 (Jay Chou’s) 退後

  1. Nelly says:

    But Jay Chou (周杰倫) is Taiwanese! By the way, why do mainlanders love Taiwanese pop music so much.

    Anyways, my Taiwanese or Chinese mother-on-law’s main objections with me as a white person are:
    1. Too big feet.
    2. Too thin hair.
    3. Too tall.
    4. Reads way to much for a WOMAN.

  2. Interesting that you’ve brought this up – Tawainese/Chinese. I’ve been conducting some interviews lately for a paper (I’m soon gonna publish here too) and Jay Chou was the immediate answer of my Chinese-Australian interviewee of mine, who later also mentioned China and Taiwan as two separate entities. China works in mysterious ways! Most Chinese I talk to find it surprising I even ask if the island belongs to mainland China. Yeah, yeah, there was the revolution, we know – they answer – but of course it belongs to us. Then they are quick to add that so many Taiwanese now would be willing to join back to China.

  3. Despite the fact that I’m considered to be an idiot for buying (first cheap) and not downloading Chinese albums, I buy. Two weeks ago I asked for a singer a Shanghainese friend recommended and when I asked the shop assistant of she thinks she’s good, she said “Well, she’s Taiwanese!” – and didn’t look very happy there.
    Our hero Ping An, who seems to be making to fame lately (you know, the fairytale story of a poor poor but really starving poor chap winning a talent show on national TV), last time said that he was going to Taiwan to record his first CD. His eyes were radiant, and with the same breath, he accompanied his lady friend to a streamlined 2-seat sports car and they rocketed away.

  4. I mean dirt cheap – God, the autocorrect is frustrating.

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