How foreign viral video stars challenge stereotypes


From the end of 2016, people who pass through Wudaokou – a popular area of ​​Beijing due to its proximity to neighboring universities – may have noticed a young man walking around the area, trying to talk to his family. foreign compatriots … camera. Although the black haired expat is often politely but firmly rejected by those he tries to interview, he adroitly edits the footage that he gets in five-minute video clips that often become Viral on social media applications and streaming platforms, such as Weibo, WeChat and Bilibili

The young man conducting the interviews is Raz Galor – also known by his Chinese name, Gao Yousi. Galor, 23, is a graduate of Peking University. In 2016, Galor founded a start-up with his Chinese classmate Fang Yedun, and today manages one of the most popular social media accounts that portrays the daily lives of foreigners in China and counts 2.28 million followers on Twitter like Weibo. The Chinese name of the startup translates to "The Crooked Nuts Research Institute", and is a pun on the Chinese word for "stranger", which – when said in a foreign accent – may look like "twisted nut." This misbehavior has become popular and amusing – if teasing gently and amicably – the way of relating to foreigners among the Chinese.

Galor and many other so-called crooked nuts that appear in his videos have astonished the Chinese – not just in terms of their diversity, but also how much they seem to be in the local culture. Many of these twisted nuts speak almost native Chinese, some having even mastered one or more dialects of the country. They roam the city on shared bikes, buy things through the Taobao online shopping site, order Chinese dishes, watch Chinese TV shows and follow their favorite Chinese stars.

Together, they reflect the ways in which a new generation of foreign-based people in China are cleverly using new media to showcase their everyday lives. Stereoscopic (stereoscopic) video on China could cover topics such as tourism or food. The presentation of these videos tends towards orientalism, with China and its people treated as the Other so that viewers marvel, mocking others, or both. The strangers appearing in these videos are often a little more than tourists: they fly along the periphery of Chinese life, take quick surface snapshots, and then go away. On the other hand, the Crooked Nuts videos are able to present more interesting aspects of Chinese life – partly because of the integration of its stars in Chinese society

. Since these twisted nuts became obsessed with Chinese TV series. "The segment opens on a re-enactment of a well-known scene of the drama of 2017," In the name of the people. "In the scene, video references, a corrupt official taken to his suburban villa illegally detained The parody of the original clip of the original has proved particularly appealing to the Chinese audience, and the video has since received more than 11,000 comments and been shared more 31,000 times.

The clip also includes a section in which Galor interviews foreigners, the Chinese TV shows they've watched. Few Chinese people would be surprised to hear classic titles such as " Three Kingdoms. "However, interviewees also praised performances such as the fantasy drama" Eternal Love, "plot piece" Empresses in the Palace "The contemporary urban drama" Ode to Joy. "

Galor and a lot of & Nbsp; Other so-called crooked nuts that appear in his videos surprised the Chinese – not only in terms of diversity, but also how much they seem to be imbued In local culture


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