RenRen Statuses by Chinese University Students

RenRen logo.

This week’s post presents some of the most re-shared status updates on Renren, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook that remains a popular social network for Chinese college students. At time of translation, the hashtag “#Popular Renren Statuses#” had 5,128,589 discussions on microblogging social network Sina Weibo.

I can do only three things in my life at school: 1. Watch academic tyrants [top students] show off their grades; 2. watch couples show off their love; 3. watch local tyrants show off their wealth.

[Responding to above] Even more frightening: Watching local tyrants show off their grades, watching academic tyrants show off their love, and watching couples show off their wealth.

“Hello, academic dregs!” “Hello, academic tyrants!” “Academic dregs, you’ve worked hard [a way of saying “thank you for your hard work.”]!” “We take the bottom positions [in student rankings] for academic tyrants!”

[Note: This joke reflects the hierarchical relationship between high-performing (“academic tyrants”) and low-performing (“academic dregs”) students in China. The dialogue follows the pattern of a National Day protocol between the Chairman of the Party’s Military Commission and the soldiers who participate in the military parade. The original dialogue is: “Hello, comrades!” “Hello, leader!” “Comrades, you’ve worked hard!” “We serve the people!”]

Unity requires negative energy. Only negative energy is conducive to a bound state…the more positive energy, the more unstable…[The phrase] “positive energy” was created by people who haven’t studied physics.

[Note: This quip is about 正能量 [zhèng néng liàng] n. “positive energy”, a buzzword that blew up on China’s social media sites in 2012 that encourages people to stay optimistic and strong.]

Sunflower positive energy

In Ideological and Ethical Education class, a female student criticized male science majors for not understanding how to be romantic. A science major stood up and said: When a person writes a paper that will be read by only a few hundred people, and persists in studying a question that the average people wouldn’t even touch in a fickle society, do you have any idea how deep his love for this subject is? When he perseveres so much for the things he likes, how could he possibly be bad to you if he loves you?

On campus, if you suffer from not being able to find a girlfriend, please do not assume girls are all gold-diggers and think you poor; please do not assume girls are all snobbish and look down on your family background; please do not assume girls are all short-sighted and can’t see your diligence and bright future. The campus is not like society where there is so much darkness. The girls on campus are still pure and innocent kids. They simply think you are ugly.

Campus Goddess

“Campus Goddess” of Fudan University

I discovered that I am not suited for applying to be civil servant, because I have a very bizarre name (via @在广州读大学 Qiu Huilu).

[Note: This girl’s name 仇慧璐 [qiú huì lù] sound exactly like 求贿赂 “requesting bribes.”]

Received a text message that was sent to the wrong person “Director Wang, thank you in advance for helping me with that thing!” I quietly replied with a bank account number, keeping my good deed to myself.

(Chen Sheng) made Wu Guang go to the temple in the woods next to where the garrison soldiers were camped and, at night, cover the fire with a bamboo basket to make the fire look like a will-o’-the-wisp [ghost], while screaming like a fox: “The Great Chu will revive, and Chen Sheng will be king!” The garrison soldiers panicked with fear in the night. The next day, the garrison soldiers talked about this with each other: “What does the fox say?

[Note: This joke is set in the context of “Chen She [Chen Sheng] Family”, an article in ancient Chinese about the Daze Village Uprising, the first rebellion against the Qin Dynasty in China. This article is learned by all mainland students in 9th grade Chinese class. The original words in the end were “[…] the garrison prisoners talked about this with each other, pointing their fingers, looking at Cheng Sheng.”]

Chen Sheng's Uprising

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  • Middle_Kingdum

    Oh, ha ha ha!! I will fall from my SOFA onto the floor from laughing so hard at the funny funny Chinese humour!

    • Germandude

      Sofa king awesome dude.

  • mr.wiener

    Does it cost as much as college education in the states?

    • Cauffiel

      No way, much cheaper.

      I don’t think American students suffer though. Average American universities are not cake walks, but as long as you’re not a complete waste of humanity, you can finish.

      • linette lee

        And like all school. Most of the things they teach you has nothing to do with your future career. You spend 4 to 8 years in University and probably only 2 to 3 years studying materials that’s important and useful when you work in your field. That is how USA university make their money.

        • Middle_Kingdum

          But in China university (every China university), the students are required to spend at least one hour a day studying some vague concept called “Political Theory” which is designed only to brainwash them.

        • Cauffiel

          That’s nonsense. Most American college graduates do not even choose to work in the field they studied after they graduate. Graduating from university just indicates to a company that you are less likely to be too dumb to train to do a job. The only exceptions are very technical fields like medicine and engineering.

        • Dax

          As opposed to Chinese universities where the school doesn’t even bother to teach you classes your last year? I still haven’t figured out how anyone can see that as anything but a blatant money grab.

  • Wololoo

    I always said the same, before actually studying in China. Now, since I am here, I had one week time for traveling around in 3 months, which was the national holiday. All the other time I am doing assignments, projects, learning for midterms and in my little freetime I learn Chinese.

    It is definitely easy not to fail, but getting good grades is really hard.

    My study friends who went to the USA normally come back to Germany with 96%-100% marks, which is a 1.0 in Germany, whereas in China the best student of the course will get like 90% max.

    *The universities are Tsinghua University for China and MIT, Caltech, Purdue Univerity and Michigan State Uni for the US:

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

  • David

    Best Comment “On campus, if you suffer from not being able to find a girlfriend,
    please do not assume girls are all gold-diggers and think you poor;
    please do not assume girls are all snobbish and look down on your family
    background; please do not assume girls are all short-sighted and can’t
    see your diligence and bright future. The campus is not like society
    where there is so much darkness. The girls on campus are still pure and
    innocent kids. They simply think you are ugly.” After almost a year I have found a joke that I understand AND think is funny.

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