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Yunnan “Ice Boy” Walks to School in -9 Degrees Celsius

He walked 4,5 kilometers in -9 degrees, but school is also out of heating.

Manya Koetse

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A young boy from Yunnan has attracted the attention of Weibo’s netizens this week for his ‘icy looks’ after walking to school in -9 degrees Celsius.

The boy is from Xinjie Town in Ludian County Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, and has to walk a mountainous track to his school for 4,5 kilometers every day.

People’s Daily reports that a photo of the boy went viral on January 9 on Chinese social media, after the teacher sent it to the school’s headmaster.

It shows the third grader with frozen hair and eyebrows, and a red face. The school children in the back are laughing.

The school has not disclosed the boy’s name to protect his identity, but the principal did tell Chinese media:

The temperature was minus nine degrees that morning, and it was the first day of the finals exams. The temperature had dropped within half an hour, and his home was already far away, so when he arrived in the classroom his hair was covered in frost. It’s a cute kid and he made a funny face when he came to the classroom, making his classmates laugh..”

The school also confirmed that the boy’s parents are laborers who work away from home, and that the boy lives together with his brother and sister as so-called “left-behind children” (留守儿童).

The area around Ludian county is relatively poor. In 2014, the area was hit by 6.5-magnitude earthquake, killing more than 600 people and destroying about 80,000 homes

The phenomenon of China’s “left-behind children” are a result of the country’s rapid urbanization, as people leave the countryside to find work in the cities. Having no means to look after their children while parents are working in urban areas, they often choose to leave their children in the countryside, where other family members can take care of them.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission released a report in 2015 estimating that there are more than 61 million left-behind children in China.

Another result of China’s urbanization is that smaller rural schools are closing their doors. Last year, the story of one teacher who kept a school open for two remaining students also became trending on Weibo.

The principal of ‘ice boy’s’ school also told a People’s Daily reporter that there currently is no heating at their school, but that they are doing all they can to arrange a heating system.

On Weibo, many netizens are concerned about the ‘ice boy’ (#冰花男孩#) and his fellow students and are offering to donate money, clothes, or other items to support the school.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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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.

China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse

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An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

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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China Local News

Holiday Homework: Take a Picture with Five Foreigners

Is “take a photo with a foreigner” an appropriate homework assignment? This Zhuhai school teacher thinks it is.

Manya Koetse

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Photo via yidianzixun.com

An elementary school in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city has become a target of online banter this week for a special holiday homework assignment given to its pupils.

The school’s English teacher told students to take a picture with five foreigners this holiday. The pupils’ parents were not too happy with this ‘homework’ and questioned its purpose and validity.

In the eyes of many netizens, the assignment is inappropriate as it supposedly teaches pupils to look up to (or ‘worship’) foreigners.

Others think the assignment is simply not practical, saying that Zhuhai does not have that many foreigners walking around and that not all foreigners speak English.

With over 110 million views on the hashtag “Holiday Homework to Take Photo with Five Foreigners” (#暑假作业与五个外国人合影#), the topic has blown up on Weibo.

“Just take a photo with the neighbor and tell them they’re from Singapore,” some people suggested: “Take some photos with Chinese people and say they were from South Korea!”

In an online poll about the issue, initiated by China Daily, nearly 65% of respondents said they did not agree with the assignment.

The school principal responded to the controversy, saying that the assignment was an “optional” one.

The class head also stated that the assignment was not obligatory, but that it was merely meant as an “encouragement” so that students could practice their conversational English by having a short conversation with a foreigner.

Many commenters side with school and condemn all the criticism and banter: “Of course an English teacher would want to tell its pupils to interact with foreigners in English!”

Another person mentions that many Chinese students have high grades in their English exams without actually being able to hold a conversation in English: “Our English education is not focused enough on speaking English.”

“This teaches students to take the initiative to start a conversation in English, what’s not good about it? You’re all too sensitive!”

By Manya Koetse , with contributions from Miranda Barnes

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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