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I don't speak Xiang, but I can if you like.
November 8, 2011 1:31 PM   Subscribe

A group of retired Chinese senior citizens singing and dancing to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance on live TV. [SLYT]
posted by schmod (18 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey! It's the set of Nickelodeon's "Finders Keepers!"
posted by chasing at 1:33 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was way better than I expected.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:55 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Could someone please give me a little context on this?

Is it possible?
posted by Samizdata at 1:57 PM on November 8, 2011


Good thing they're just dancing to the decadent music of the imperialist west, and not performing a more traditional choreography.
posted by clarknova at 1:58 PM on November 8, 2011


"Yo, is this racist?"
posted by aught at 2:04 PM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Those seniors look pretty healthy and vital to me. I wonder if they were hand-picked. If not, it says a lot for tofu, rice, hard work, not too much meat, and having something cool to do.
posted by Vibrissae at 2:09 PM on November 8, 2011


Causes me to miss living in China.

Good thing they're just dancing to the decadent music of the imperialist west

I hope no one is under the illusion that mainland China is communist in anything but name - authoritarian capitalism is the order of the day, showing that you can certainly have the worst of both worlds.
posted by Frowner at 2:10 PM on November 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Those seniors look pretty healthy and vital to me. I wonder if they were hand-picked. If not, it says a lot for tofu, rice, hard work, not too much meat, and having something cool to do.

Also, not being despised. You try despising old folks in China the way they get despised and patronized over here and you will not be welcome anyplace.

Also, a cultural note: in my experience of China, there was a lot more amateur singing. Here, I feel like it's considered weird to sing casually unless you're drunk, alone, or on some kind of TV show. But when I lived in China, folks sang a lot - for fun at parties, in class, etc - and because even the worst singer improves through practice, almost everyone was at least non-painful to hear. My class once sang me my then-favorite song "Dongbei ren dou shi huo Lei Fung".
posted by Frowner at 2:16 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone provide a translation, or some context?
posted by not_on_display at 3:03 PM on November 8, 2011


China has arrived.. somewhere
posted by stbalbach at 3:09 PM on November 8, 2011


China is here, Mr. Stbalbach.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:33 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"China is here"? I don't even know what the hell that means.
posted by Trurl at 4:02 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


A few impressions from my visit to Shanghai last month:
(We stayed at a 1-bedroom apartment in an ordinary neighborhood, and toured the city with the 'family'):
- Many, many public projects all over the place: many hospitals (2 mid-size hospitals just a few blocks away from where we stayed), many nice schools, and many well-maintained parks large & small that were very well visited & used.
- People use the public exercise machines that can be found in those community parks A LOT. In the large complex where we stayed, they would start using them at 6 in the morning, and continue all through out the day. Often at night they would have dancing and group exercise, Tai chi, group stuff, everything. Mostly older & retired people.
- A huge class of 'middle class' workers who retire at 50 or 55 from the docks or the schools or the factories & spend their small stipends living more or less a life of ease. They live in small apartments (No elevators if it older six stories building or less!), but they have enough income to support themselves & save. I was very surprised about it.
- Often you go out at night at various crowded neighborhoods and see large spontaneous groups of people dancing in the street: some formal, classical folk dances, some western Boogie, some jazz singers & players. They bring up a (very loud) amplifier & play & dance their heart out. Other people stand around & watch.
- Also - unrelated - right now a very popular trend there is Street Karaoke - a pretty amazing thing to behold
posted by growabrain at 4:10 PM on November 8, 2011


That was um... what was that?
posted by zarq at 8:04 PM on November 8, 2011


That was pleasantly odd. I liked it.
posted by harriet vane at 12:10 AM on November 9, 2011


Here's a rough translation:

“Oooooooh, dear little kids,
Oooooooh, here’s a wonderful piece by pretty Gaga!

Laa laa lalalaa, Gaga, pretty Gaga, Laa laa lalalaa,
Don’t slight our performance!
Laa laa lalalaa, Oh Granny! Pretty Gaga, Laa laa lalalaa,
Don’t slight our performance!

Too many working days
Hardly ever get to go home
You and that telephone -
Constantly busy!
Constantly busy, busy, busy!
The two of us get by,
We’ve learned to have our fun.
Got to look past the little details
And hold on to the big picture! Hold, hold, hold on!

[Brief dialogue in Changsha dialect, something like "Are the kids watching at home? Tell them to hold on to the big picture - tonight Mum and Dad have turned into Gaga for a moment!"]

If you’re satisfied, stand up and clap your hands -
It won’t make me too nervous!
If you’re happy then sing along,
and give us lots of applause!
Oooooooh, dear little kids,
Oooooooh, a wonderful piece by pretty Gaga.

Laa laa lalalaa, Gaga, pretty Gaga, Laa laa lalalaa,
Don’t slight our performance!
Laa laa lalalaa, Oh Granny! Pretty Gaga, Laa laa lalalaa,
Don’t slight our performance!

Hey, hey! Old is “trendy!”
Gaga shouts out “I’m so trendy!”
Hey, hey! Old is trendy!
Gaga shouts out “I’m so trendy!” [Cries of "I'm so trendy!"]

If you’re satisfied, stand up and clap your hands -
It won’t make me too nervous!
If you’re happy then sing with me, etc. etc.

Gaa gaa gagagaa, fly away, pretty Gaga,
Gaa gaa gagagaa, happy, pretty Gaga!”
posted by minifigs at 1:43 AM on November 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


There are days when you sympathise with the censors' decision to restrict entertainment programming on satellite telly. Well, OK, maybe not, but here's a sample tongue-in-cheek comment from a Chinese Internet posting of the same video: 有点无语啊,奇怪的是国家广电局的人呢,怎么不来封杀了 "I'm left a bit speechless. The SARFT lot are strange, why aren't they banning this?"
Looks like this was from Hunan Satellite's Mid-Autumn Festival Special (中秋特别节目) called 让月儿飞 (I somehow missed the extravaganza this year); apparently the senior citizens are from the Hunan Province Activity Centre for Retired Cadres. After a career in Chinese officialdom, one thing you're almost bound to pick up is an ability to recite silly phrases with enthusiasm and a straight face, so Lady Gaga would be falling-off-a-log level difficulty.
posted by Abiezer at 2:14 AM on November 9, 2011


Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous!!! :)
posted by Hanuman1960 at 6:12 AM on November 9, 2011


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