Honglaowai (红老外)

Honglaowai (红老外)

Updated Nov 06, 2011 at 10:24PM EST by Brad.

Added Aug 03, 2010 at 11:28PM EDT by Ogreenworld.

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Honglaowai singing “止战之殇” (English: “Wounds of War”) by Jay Chou

About

Honglaowai (Simplified Chinese: 红老外; Pinyin: Hóng Lǎowài; English: Red Foreigner) is the username of an internet celebrity in China, although he lives in New York. He is also sometimes referred to as the Red Laowai. Because he is Caucasian and sang traditional Chinese Communist songs (while being half-naked), he became an internet sensation. However, since his debut, he has extended his repertoire to cover non-traditional and modern Chinese songs as well.

Origin

On November 6, 2007, Honglaowai posted his first video to Youtube and on November 7th, to popular Chinese video-sharing sites (including Tudou, Youku, 56).

The video was a result of him teaching himself how to speak Chinese and subsequently falling in love with Chinese culture. He made the video as a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution which featured him singing, Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China, topless, and against a wall with a Mao Zedong poster.

In the next two weeks, he released two more videos:
The East Is Red (Chinese: 东方红) (November 13, 2007)

My Chinese Heart (Chinese: 我的中国心) (November 18, 2007)

Popularity



Honglaowai became a Chinese internet celebrity even though he had never been to China before. According to Shanghaiist, Honglaowai’s blog received more than 83,000 hits in less than a month.

A list of some comments on his blog (and their translations):

作者:who…
同志,你实在让我太佩服了!这么难的歌都能让你唱得有声有色,不支持不行啊!!加油!欢迎到中国来!
Author: who…
Comrade, I really admire you! You can sing such a hard song so impressively. I have no reason not to support you!! Come on! Welcome to China!

作者:嚣尘
你这个老外不了解中国~~要在中国的网络玩搞笑,扒了衣服唱些过时很久了的革命时代的歌曲是没用的““去你们的WALMAKET买件中国产的衬衫穿穿““应该比你赤膊更有效果““
你是美国人“`喜欢中国““不过这可不叫爱国“`来中国办绿卡吧“`(中国绿卡比你们国家的绿卡好办多了)当你成为中国公民的时候“你才能说自己爱中国就是爱国了““
记得“`要和谐“`和谐““把老外全部和谐了“`那社会就和谐了““还有“`开播客“`是可以“`千万别有一丁点侮辱中国或者中国人民的话““NEWYORK可不是中国“`是能买到GUN的“`要弄死你很容易““
Author: Xiao Chen
You foreigner don’t know China~~If you meant to make spoof on China’s Internet, it’s useless to take clothes off and sing some really out-of-date songs of the revolutionary era….Go to your WALMAKET to buy a made-in-China shirt and put it on….it must be more effective than being half-naked….
You are American…likes China….but that can’t be regarded as patriotic…Come to China to apply for the green card…(to get green card in China is much easier than in your country) When you become a Chinese citizen..then you can say your love of China is patriotism….
Keep that in your mind… we need harmony…harmony…When all the foreigners are harmonized…the society will be harmonious….and…it’s OK…to open a blog…but never give out any words that vilify China or Chinese people…NEWYORK is not China…it’s easy to buy guns there…so it’s easy to do away with you.

作者:chan…
可是我们还是比较喜欢穿衣服的人哦,下次记得穿衣服哈。
其实偶们是比较保守的,不太喜欢经常革命,一两次就够了。
Author: chan…
But we still prefer people in clothes. Please don’t forget to get dressed next time.
Actually we are very conservative and one or two revolutions are really enough for us we don’t like that very much.

作者:Renee
支持你!喜欢东方文化毕竟是好事, 虽然表达的方式有点过激, 热情了点, 可是可以接受。(你可能不太了解,现在的中国人喜欢资本主义的东西, 不喜欢你把中国和苏联说到一起去, 你还是应该找个讲中文的人教你中文和中国国情)
Author: Renee
I support you! After all, it’s good to like the Eastern culture. Although the way you expressed yourself is a little immoderate and exciting, we can still accept it. (Maybe you don’t know too much about China. Now Chinese people like capitalism things and don’t want you to put China and USSR together. You’d better find a speaker of Chinese to teach you and tell you something about China)

(Source: Shanghaiist)

Spread:

“Naked Singing” Controversy

As was previously stated, Honglaowai was topless in his first three videos. People were split about whether he was singing half-naked for no particular reason, for the sake of art, or to insult the Chinese government. Some defended him simply on his cuteness, handsomeness, creativity, and passion.

Responses:

On November 20, 2007, he explained that he did not mean to offend anyone through his videos:

Chinese: “认真共产主义者说,不是衣服,而是思想是最重要的!”
English: “True Communists say that it is not clothes, but ideas that are the most important!”

(Source: ywcb)

In his next video (and all videos thereafter), he has visible clothes:

March of the People’s Liberation Army (Chinese: 中国人民解放军军歌) (November 20, 2007)

Visit to China and Current Status:

In July 2008, Honglaowai visited China leading to a resurgence of interest:

Afterwards, he continued to release videos every couple weeks or so and covered modern songs, including one by Jay Chou (receiving over 4 million views).

When Lehman Brothers collapsed, Honglaomai (as a Wall Street Trader) stopped updating his Sina blog. He has not posted anything since August 14, 2008.

Trivia

- He is single
- 29 years old (as of July 2010)
- From Chelsea neighborhood of New York
- Height: 6’ 2"
- Wall Street trader
- Goes to Chinatown on the weekends and sings at KTV (the Chinese term for Karaoke)
- Had not been to mainland China (until July 13, 2008), but had been to Taiwan
- Very good at typing and speaking in Chinese

Parodies

牛人对红老外的挑战

老外再次惊艳演唱 林志炫 《说不出的告别》

References/External Links

Chinese

- Jfdaily
- Shanghaiist
- dahe.cn
- Ynet
- BJ.XINHUA.net
- ce.cn
- Hudong Wiki
- NOWnews
- People’s Daily
- ycwb
- Sina
- Articles on Google News

Spanish

- elmundo.es

Honglaowai’s Accounts/Profiles:

- Youku
- 56
- Tudou
- Youtube
- Blog

Recent Videos

There are no videos currently available.

Recent Images 6 total


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