The World of Chinese



代的眼泪。T` sh# w6 t5ngni1n n)sh9n ne! K0x~ le, c9ngj~ng h5ngj! y#sh!, xi3nz3i qu- ch9ng le sh!d3i de y2nl-i.)”

Old things, though, can also become classics. 古早 (g^z2o), a term in southern Fujianese dialect meaning “classic” or “retro,” has become synonymous with vintage trends that make a comeback. Guzao makeup (古早美妆 g^z2o m0izhu`ng) is a fad for cosmetics made from natural products used in ancient times. A guzao series (古早剧 g^z2oj&) is a formerly popular TV drama worth revisiting, and guzaoflavo­red food (古早味食物 g^z2ow-i sh!w&) refers to traditiona­l recipes that bring back customers’ childhood memories.

Yet some retro trends are really best left forgotten. The term “dark history (黑历史h8il#sh@)” refers to shameful past scandals and secrets that a person, usually a celebrity, wishes to

网是有记忆的。H&li1nw2ng sh# y6u j#y# de).” This phrase points out the reality that photos, posts, and comments can almost never be erased once published on the web, and are available to anyone with a quick search.

In some cases, screenshot­s from the internet serve the cause of justice. Last October, during an acrimoniou­s divorce between Li Guoqing and Yu Yu, billionair­e cofounders of the e-commerce platform Dangdang, text messages dating as far back as nine years ago backed up Yu’s accusation­s about her husband’s extramarit­al affairs.

The internet’s long memory also powers the “human flesh search engine,” vigilantes who seek personal informatio­n to use against a criminal or moral offender, and online trolls: “The internet never forgets. She faked her college degree; she hardly deserves to be a star (互联网是有记忆的,她伪造过学历,根本不配当明星。H&li1nw2ng sh# y6u j#y# de, t` w0iz3o guo xu9l#, g8nb0n b% p-i d`ng m!ngx~ng),” they might exclaim about a hated celebrity.

So while it’s fun to post a throwback photo on Weibo once in a while, be careful what you share with the internet. Or just get a Polaroid camera—they’re retro, making a huge comeback, and you can always destroy the evidence.

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