Here Nor There

I led an “English Corner” discussion this evening during which Beyoncé and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video collaboration came up within the first fifteen minutes thanks to one (female) student’s proclamation, “Beyoncé is a sexy girl!” (I think they use “sexy” more freely here than we do in America.) I couldn’t quite get a read on whether or not the video was a hit as I thought the topic might ostracize the two non-teenaged women in the room, one of whom declared Gaga, “crazy.” I think it’s fascinating to try and get a read on the Chinese perception of popular culture and so delved into music (Korean pop stars are sexy, but it takes a few minutes for the name “Britney Spears” to register), movies (foreign imports are by far better than homegrown fare), and television (they all seem to watch it online.) The most interesting moment was when one student referred to Jason Wu, designer of Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown, as “not Chinese.” “He’s American Chinese…or, how – Chinese-American! (giggles).”


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