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Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out on Weibo: “He Cut Off My Nose”

“My name is Li Yun, I am 30 years old, and am a victim of long-term abuse by my husband” – a female victim of domestic abuse has taken her gruesome story online. Her husband has cut off her nose, she says – she now needs money to complete her surgery. Li Yun’s story, that went viral on Weibo, raises public awareness on domestic abuse in China.

Manya Koetse

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“My name is Li Yun, I am 30 years old, and am a victim of long-term abuse by my husband” – a female victim of domestic abuse has taken her gruesome story online. Her husband has cut off her nose, she says – she now needs money to complete her surgery. Li Yun’s story, that went viral on Weibo, raises public awareness on domestic abuse in China.

The topic ‘Woman suffers domestic violence: nose was cut off’ (#女子遭家暴割鼻#) became trending on Sina Weibo on April 20, when netizens collectively responded to how netizen Li Yun (李云), a citizen from Taizhou in Zhejiang province, told her followers how she has been a victim of severe domestic abuse for years. The woman told her shocking story on her Weibo account on April 19, 2016:

liyunstory

My name is Lu Yun, and I am 30 years old. I’ve been married for 8 years and have suffered long-term abuse by my husband. I’ve suffered in silence for the sake of my daughter. I would’ve never expected him to get more and more extreme; to the point of him cutting off my nose.

That day, my husband had too much to drink, and we had an argument in the living room. My child was already asleep and he wanted to go to his native village in the middle of the night and I did not agree. I didn’t argue with him as I was lying on the bed sleeping with my back towards him. He took my razor blade and cut my nose. He said my nose was my best-looking feature, so he’d better cut it off. At that time, I had no idea and thought he’d used his fingers to scrape my nose. But later I felt the blood rushing out, and I stood up and asked him how he could do this to me. He grabbed a towel and strapped it around my neck; I could do nothing but try and pull the towel away with my hands when he heartlessly tore my nose down – I could do nothing but cry out. It woke up my child and she came crying. It wasn’t until then that he let go of the towel. Without my child, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Li Yun proceeds to explain how she called the emergency number 120 with the last strength she had. Doctors at the hospital could do little to save her nose, so Li later had to see a specialist in Wenzhou. Constructing her (partially artificial) nose would cost over 300,000 RMB (46,000 US$), she was told. Li proceeded with the first surgery, which she could afford with the 60,000 RMB she borrowed from friends. For her second surgery, and to be able to send her daughter to school, she calls on the help of China’s netizens to help her so she can get the surgery she needs to make her nose look normal enough to find a job and take care of her daughter.

li and daguhterThe photos that Li posted of her nose, and her little daughter who, she says, asks her mum daily when she can go to school.

 
Over 480.000 netizens had read about this story by April 20, responding to it in great numbers and condemning the husband’s “beastly behavior”. Many commented to wish Li Yun a speedy recovery.

Several Chinese media have followed up on the story and spoke to Li Yun. Sina Zhejiang writes that since the attack took place in April of last year, Li can only breathe through her nose.

Some netizens also put Li’s story in a bigger context, linking it to China’s overall problem of domestic abuse: “The punishment for this kind of maltreatment of women is too light,” one netizen says: “The law is hopeless this way – women really have to look out for themselves and be very cautious when getting married.”

China’s first anti-domestic abuse law just came into effect on March 1st of this year. According to state media estimation, one in four married women in China have experienced some form of domestic violence, although the real figure may be much higher, since many women do not report cases of abuse.

Due to the new law, victims of domestic abuse can go to court to seek a restraining order, which could potentially force the abuser out of the home. But, as Asia Times reports, critics say the legislation still doesn’t go far enough.

News outlet China.org reported that local police have placed Li’s husband on their “wanted list” since last June, but that the man still remains at large.

After today’s trending topic, more people will undoubtedly be on the lookout for him. “If they catch him, let them first cut off his nose, too!”, one netizen writes.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Books & Literature

“The End of an Era”? – Beijing Bookworm Closes Its Doors

Manya Koetse

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As news of The Bookworm’s closing makes its rounds on social media, Beijingers have responded in shock, mourning the loss of an iconic and meaningful meeting place for book(worm) lovers around the city.

The Bookworm Beijing, at Nansanlitun Road, is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events space that has become a center of cultural exchange for Beijing’s foreign community since 2005.

The location is a beating heart of Beijing’s literary world; a place where writers, journalists, students, diplomats, academics, and all kinds of people – both foreign and Chinese – come together to exchange knowledge, read, and sit down for a glass of wine.

Today, the Bookworm announced its sudden closure via WeChat, writing:

It is with heavy hearts that we are forced to announce the impending closure of The Bookworm Beijing after 14 wonderful years in Courtyard No. 4 off SouthSanlitun Road. Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of “illegal structures”, and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease.”

The announcement further says that the location will be forced to suspend operations “most probably” as of Monday, November 11, and that the Bookworm will attempt to reorganize and find a new location.

News of the Bookworm’s closing has been becoming a topic of conversation on various social media sites from WeChat to Twitter and Weibo.

Famous Chinese journalist and author Luo Changping (罗昌平) writes on Weibo: “The Bookworm is forced to close! It used to be next door to my former office, and it was once like my living room. Sigh.”

Shanghai comedian Storm Xu called the closure of the Beijing Bookworm “the end of an era,” saying he looks back on many good memories there.

“They had many events, good food, special books; I used to go there a few times per year,” one person writes. “This really is so sad,” other Weibo users respond.

There are also various Weibo commenters who also mention that news of Bookworm’s closing comes just a day after the news that publisher of magazine-books and online bookseller Duku Books (读库) is forced to close its Beijing warehouse for the sixth time.

Over the past decade, many popular venues in Beijing have been forced to close their doors or relocate. Beijing hangouts such as Bed Bar, Salud, Vineyard Cafe, 2 Kolegas, Jiangjinjiuba, Mao Livehouse, Hercules, Aperativo, The Bridge Cafe, Great Leap Brewery Sanlitun, Jing-A Taproom 1949, and many others have all been closed over the past years.

Nightlife hotspot Sanlitun bar street was demolished and bricked up in 2017 as part of the mission of the city management to gentrify the area.

Changing Sanlitun in 2017.

The demolishment of “illegal structures” in the city has been an ongoing effort of the local government for years. These efforts became especially visible in late 2017 when people in Beijing’s Daxing area faced a large-scale evacuation campaign after a big fire broke out there on November 18, killing 19 people.

The large-scale evacuation campaign was also expanded to other areas of Beijing in a campaign by the municipal authorities aimed at unlicensed developments to target “illegal structures” and “buildings with potential fire hazards.”

But many people on Weibo and WeChat questioned if the campaign was actually more about politics than about safety concerns – something that was strongly refuted by state media outlets at the time.

These questions will remain unanswered, also for the Bookworm. Is its closure really about closing down an “illegal structure,” or are there more politically-motivated considerations playing a role here? On Weibo, some commenters say the location is closed down for being a home of free discussions and “free thinking,” while others say that no matter what the place is, the building’s safety and legal status is what matters here.

Perhaps the future will tell. We surely hope the Bookworm will soon pop up and open its doors in another location very soon.

Those who are interested can support the Bookworm by coming by and buying books, which will be heavily discounted, until November 11.

By Manya Koetse

Images: Bookworm images by The Bookworm, edited by What’s on Weibo.
Sanlitun Image: Might have been taken by Manya in Beijing 2017, but we’re not 100% sure so let us know if we’re mistaken.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Online Anger over Inappropriate Toast by Dutch Watch Brand Executive at Chinese Dinner Party

This is how NOT to do a toast in Dutch!

Manya Koetse

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Instead of teaching guests at a Chinese dinner party how to say “cheers” in Dutch, this viral video shows how the Chinese are told to join in saying “dikke lul,” the Dutch expression for “big d*ck.”

UPDATE: FYI – the videos relating to this incident have been taken offline after the publication of this article. There are no active video links in this article.

The Amsterdam-based watch & jewelry brand Rosefield has recently come under fire within the Chinese community in the Netherlands after a video went viral showing Rosefield’s CEO and its Head of Sourcing proposing an unusual toast at a Chinese dinner party.

The video, that was viewed over 173,000 times on Dutch site Dumpert.nl, shows a woman in a white blouse bringing out a toast, saying:

In Dutch, we say ‘ganbei’ or ‘cheers’ in this way, and it would be nice if you all can say the same, we say: ‘dikke lul.‘”

The people at the table then proceed to toast saying “Dikke lul” – which, in fact, is not the Dutch word for ‘cheers’ but for ‘big dick,’ something that the Chinese people at the table are seemingly not aware of.

On WeChat, Chinese-language newspaper Asian News (华侨新天地) reported about the video and identified the Dutch woman and man at the table as the CPO and CEO of Rosefield Watches, a fast-growing luxury brand that is active in various countries.

Asian News describes the incident as a way of “ridiculing Chinese friends,” and writes it has triggered anger online.

Asian News (华侨新天地) is a Chinese language newspaper founded in 1992. It is mainly distributed in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Its WeChat account has some 120,200 followers, and the post on the ‘cheers’ video was among its most-well read on WeChat this week.

The blog post noted that ever since the ‘dikke lul’ video has gone viral in the Netherlands, it has become one of the first results showing up when searching for the vulgar expression ‘dikke lul’ on Google.

Although it is not clear where the video was filmed and how it ended up on short video site Dumpert, it is rumored in WeChat groups that it was recorded during the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair earlier this month, and that the Chinese guests are business relations of the Dutch brand (unconfirmed).

The comment section on the Dumpert site shows that although some Dutch commenters think the video is funny, there are many who find it “vulgar,” “rude,” and “distasteful.”

Although many (overseas) Chinese expressed anger in various WeChat groups – some expressing regret over a Rosefield watch they recently purchased – the Asia News blog does remind readers that we do not know the context of the video, and whether or not there was a certain pretext or common understanding to the joke.

Nevertheless, the blog states, this kind of behavior is not professional and if a company such as Rosefield wants to earn money in China, “it should also respect Chinese culture and people.”

Although there have been ample discussions about the controversial video on Wechat, there are no online discussions about this issue on Weibo at the time of writing.

Over the past year, many foreign brands became a focus for controversy in China.

In November of 2018, Italian fashion house D&G faced consumer outrage and backlash on Chinese social media for a video that was deemed ‘racist’ to China and for insulting remarks about Chinese people allegedly made by designer Stefano Gabbana.

Swiss investment bank UBS sparked controversy in June for a column which mentioned “Chinese pigs.”

Over this summer, various foreign companies apologized to China for listing ‘Hong Kong’ as a separate country or region on its websites and/or t-shirts.

Still curious about how to actually say ‘cheers’ in Dutch? It’s ‘proost’ and this is how you pronounce it correctly.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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