Like I told you guys before, we are a mixed crew working here in the office in Finland: some Chinese, some Finns, some Swedes, some Danes, some French, some Estonian etc, etc… Yesterday one guy (western) thought of the genius idea (?) to find out what’s “cool in China amongst teenagers.” In order to so, he decided to have a chat with one of our Chinese co-workers: a fairly young, Shanghainese boy that we can call “Wang.” I don’t really know why Wang was chosen, but seeing that he sometimes wears a hat to the office (the funky, white kind) I guess some people might consider him a person “in the know” (about cool-ness amongst Chinese teens).
In order to rate the coolest thing you can do as a young, Chinese person, Wang was given several examples to choose from, such as: tattoos, piercing, drinking, dating, skateboarding, fireworks… and so on.
However, coolest on the list, Wang doubtlessly placed:
“Breaking the rules!”
And what kind of rules then?
Well, any rules. According to Wang, going against the norm is apparently considered cool amongst Shanghai teens.
So what’s the most un-cool thing then?
Well, not that hard to guess: “telling on others/ being good friends with the teacher.”
According to Wang, every single class had a non-cool person, who spent every living second sucking up to the teacher. The cool kids, however, were apparently harder to spot.
I have to say that I’m a little bit surprised by Wang’s answer. I wouldn’t have necessarily thought that Chinese teens even regarded “breaking the rules” as something they would do… From what I’ve witnessed in China, those teenage kids are under so much pressure in school that they don’t even have time to think about things like “breaking the rules” in between their piano lessons, afternoon classes and mountain of homework. But there you go, turns out we aren’t that different after all. Being a fairly un-cool kid over here back in the days, I sure enjoyed a bit of rule-breaking myself:
-Always going home for lunch rather than eating at school, making my teachers see red.
-Crossing the ‘big street’ (= forbidden thing number 1) outside our school to buy candy (= forbidden thing number 2) during most breaks.
-Hiding everywhere from in the bathroom to the drying cabinet during winter so that I didn’t have to step outside in the freezing cold during our breaks (one cleaning lady almost had a heart attack when she found me in the cabinet).
-Parking my bicycle where I wasn’t supposed to.
-Stealing an immaculate amount of pens and notebooks.
Wonder what cool kind of rules Wang broke when he was a youngster.