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Racist French song provokes war of words in China

(Global Times)    08:00, January 03, 2018

A French nursery rhyme which was accused of being racist and reportedly taught at a nursery school near Paris for over a decade offended internet users in China on Tuesday.

The French nursery rhyme going by "Chang le petit chinois" depicts Chinese with stereotypically racist lyric contents, as it portrays "Chang" as a short, rice- and lychee-eating, flip-flop- and round hat-wearing person, with a table-tennis ball sized head, and "his eyes are small, awfully small," according to a snap of the rhyme book widely circulated online.

French media Le Figaro reported on Monday on its website the song had been sung, taught and shared in Seine-Saint-Denis, a nursery school in Aubervilliers of the environs of Paris in France for over a decade and it was not until a recent Facebook post that it finally came to the public spotlight.

Chinese social media was outraged and shocked by the song's contents, with some calling it "shockingly inappropriate and showing how little the French really know about Chinese people or those from any Asian countries."

"It is over the line especially because it is a song for the little ones. Cultivating them with such a biased and prejudiced world view, it is terribly wrong," wrote Sina Weibo user "Xiao Bawang."

Many Chinese netizens responded with their own prejudices.

"Are you kidding me? Calling Chinese short, it is very absurd for the French song writer. Northern Chinese are way taller than the average French Gauls," a Sina Weibo user "Tianya Longying" wrote on Tuesday.

Chinese social media also shrugged about such cliché racism, saying that "smaller eyes do not bother us from exploring the world as much as anyone can."

"It is time for the French or the Westerners to wake up from their superiority complex. And is the French president aware of this song, as he is about to make a state visit to China next week?" "Double-bin" wrote on Tuesday.

The song has been withdrawn from teaching by the French education ministry, and the author of the song in question, Ateliers du Préau, promised to make public apologies to the children and their parents after they return to school, and to prevent this rhyme from being edited or shared again, said Le Figaro.

"Most of the French people are shocked by this song too, but I don't think the teachers were racist, probably just stupid when picking tunes," said a French tutor working in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, who only wished to be named as Bruno.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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