Shanghai’s own copycat version of Hong Kong’s anti-mainlander locust ad.
Hot on the heels of the anti-mainlander locust ad published in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily comes Shanghai’s very own xenophobic insect-based agitprop.
The copycat ad grabs readers with a statistic claiming that 4 billion RMB is spent each year to subsidize non-locals in Shanghai, and uses Shanghainese dialect to declare, “Shanghainese, we’ve had enough!”
Currently making the weibo rounds, the modified ad uses the same template of a locust perched atop a mountain while overlooking the terrorized city in question’s skyline. For Shanghai, the Pudong skyline sits in the background, which means the locust would be perched atop the non-existent mountains of
Puxi Huangpu district.
Our full translation of the Shanghainese locust weibo post:
Do you want to spend 4 billion RMB every year to subsidize the population of outsiders?
Shanghainese, we’ve had enough!
Because you’ve come for the gold rush, we have to receive 17,566,700 outsiders.
Because you want to settle down, we have to receive 380,000 of the outsider laborers’ children.
Because you want to look after your parents, we have to receive 159,500 outsiders who are elderly.
We have to endure you coming and ruining our culture.
We have to endure your fellow villagers criticizing us.
We have to endure your fellow villagers’ uncivilized behavior.
[We] strongly request that the government changes the law,
Stop the endless influx of outsiders entering Shanghai!
And for comparison’s sake, here’s our full translation of the anti-mainlander locust ad that appeared in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily:
Do you want Hong Kong to spend $1 million HKD every 18 minutes to raise a child without a single Hongkongnese parent?
People of Hong Kong, we’ve had enough!
Because we know you have milk powder that’s poisonous, we understand why you grab all our milk powder,
Because we know you have no freedom, we host you when you visit Hong Kong on your own,
Because we know your educational system is backward, so we share our educational resources with you,
Because you can’t read Correct Chinese (traditional Chinese), so we use Defective Chinese (simplified Chinese).
Please respect local culture if you come to Hong Kong, otherwise it’ll be your fault when Hong Kong is finished.
[We] strongly request that the government changes the Basic Law!
Stop the limitless entry of mainland pregnant women from invading Hong Kong!
Though Shanghai and Hong Kong have aspirations to be counted among the exclusive firmament of top-flight International Cities, the latest sentiments reveal that the urbane provincialism Shanghai has traditionally been accused of possessing is still alive and well.
And it strikes us that the term “outsider” (外来人) more than likely doesn’t refer to the hordes of foreign experts and English teachers who are in Shanghai for the gold rush. Note the English written at the bottom of the Shanghai locust ad: “If you love where you live, be part of it!”
And is it just us, or is the demonizing of any group with a term like “locust”, denoting a parasitic horde of rapacious non-human insects that must be dealt with, just a teensy bit reminiscent of Nazi propaganda that compared Jews to rats, roaches and other vermin?
In The Origins of Violence: Religion, History and Genocide, John Docker writes that usually one group, race or society must consider themselves to be victims of oppression, while those they wish to kill must be thought of as less-than-human pests who hold back progress.
Though we’re hardly suggesting that the Chinese-on-Chinese hate speech is going to devolve into epic violence, we think it’s important to recognize the xenophobic Hong Kong and Shanghai locust ads/memes for what they are.
Related: Listen: “Locust World”, mean anti-mainlander song circulating in Hong Kong