Currently reading : Tuhao – China’s Nouveau Riche

Tuhao – China’s Nouveau Riche

16 November 2013

Author : joseph-delaney

Christian Ferretti’s Grillz – Interview Magazine

An ancient Chinese word has made a recent resurgence across the world thanks to the increasingly open nature of communication of internet users. The word, tuhao, whose most appropriate English parallel would be a kind of “nouveu niche‘ (ironically itself adopted), is being utilized to characterize an extreme monetary decadence to the detriment of social sophistication – tacky glamour.

In a society driven by a complex network of social standards and cultural conventions, the word accumulated negative connotations up to its fading in the 30s, where it came to reflect an aggressive dominance by those in power. Now, coming to mean the acquisition of wealth within one’s own generation, or faster, tied to an implication of coming from poverty or at least a lower social position, the word is being used as a means of cultural sabotage by those less affluent who have used the internet as a platform to incite a kind of linguistic ammunition.

Kim Kardashian in CR Fashion Book

The resurgence apparently originates through the Chinese speaking video gamers who re-appropriated the word in the context of their virtual world to describe how characters in games are rewarded with ‘bling’, projecting onto the word a specific and widely negative representation of the actions of the newly wealthy class.

Now used on average 1 million times a day across social media, having had such a huge impact that the word’s inclusion in next year’s release of the Oxford English Dictionary is being discussed, its widespread use opens up a wider discussion, not just about language, but the future of culture. This almost instant global communication allowing for the development of a shared culture as a result of our knowledge surpassing our individual means, and when these cultural influences have the ability to infiltrate every societal level in any given locality.

 

Gold tuhao iphone



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