‘You’re a prostitute, not Chinese’ – rant on train stirs debate about Halloween

  • You are China’s disgrace, says man in video, dividing opinion on social media
  • Younger man says he and his friend were the target after they wore Halloween-style make-up
PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2018, 4:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2018, 9:23pm

A video of a man’s rant on a train, claimed to have been aimed at people wearing Halloween costumes, has gone viral on Chinese social media.

In the clip, posted by news site Beijing Time on Thursday, the unidentified man is filmed criticising unseen people in a subway carriage.

The incident happened in the northeastern city of Qingdao on Wednesday evening, the night of Halloween, according to the news site.

“Just looking at you, I can see that you’re a prostitute. Do you know that?” the man says in the video.

“You look like neither a man nor a woman; what difference is there between you and a prostitute?

“I am Chinese. Are you Chinese? Look at yourselves. Look at the one beside you, who looks neither like a human nor a monster. You are China’s disgrace.”

His targets are not seen in the video. A woman, who is also not visible, can be heard telling the man to leave them alone.

An unidentified man contacted social video site Pear Video on Friday to claim that he and a female friend were the targets of the rant, according to a clip published by the site. The clip contained a voice recording of a man describing what happened, and a selfie of a man wearing a sweatshirt and some fake blood on his face.

“That night, I was on the subway with my friend, we were dressed normally and we didn’t wear much make-up; I only had a bit of fake blood on my face,” the man says in the recording. “We sitting right in the corner of the very last subway carriage to avoid scaring other people.

“But this old man seemed very interested in us – he followed us all the way to the last carriage. He heard us talking, and recognised that I was a man, and became very angry. He sat opposite us and starting cursing us.”

The man added that he had since been criticised by family members, and had received abuse online from strangers criticising him for dressing up on the subway, supporting the man’s abuse.

The incident has stirred up debate on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, as users quickly took sides. Some commenters defended the man’s right to yell at strangers, while others took offence at the man’s rude behaviour.

“Even if they were dressed that way, you don’t have the right to shout at them,” read one comment with over 17,000 likes. “This man with that kind of character is the real disgrace to China.”

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“No one cares if you dress up at home, but if you go out and scare people, that will definitely cause some people to react. It’s a real problem,” wrote one user.

Hundreds of thousands of young Chinese have been sharing their Halloween costumes on social media as the Western festival becomes increasingly more mainstream in the country.

Thought to originate from pagan Celtic harvest festivals celebrated more than 2,000 years ago, Halloween has no roots in China.

Some local authorities have been trying to clamp down on “excessive” Halloween celebrations.

Guangzhou metro authorities issued a notice asking passengers not to wear Halloween costumes on the subway. Beijing police also cautioned citizens not to “indulge in excess” when it comes to Halloween festivities.