Last week it was K-Pop idol Danielle Marsh who was in the hot seat amongst K-Netizens for saying “Chinese New Year” instead of “Lunar New Year”. The idol had to apologise promising she would be more careful when expressing herself in the future. Whilst it might seem trivial to some, inclusivity and national pride seem to be a hotly contested topic nowadays; which is why stars like Ouyang Nana, Cristiano Ronaldo and even the British Museum all got schooled by Netizens for “not using the correct term” when referring to the holiday.
You Just Can’t Win
Ouyang Nana rang in the Year of the Rabbit back home in Taiwan with her family. Taking to Instagram, the musician slash actress wrote “+Happy New Year Much Love from Ouyang Family”. However some Netizens were none too pleased with the omission of the word “Chinese”. Her comments section blew up with “Happy Chinese New Year” messages from Chinese Netizens. Whether they’re genuinely sending her their wishes or maybe correcting her faux pas we don’t really know. But there are those though who made sure to emphasise the word “Chinese” as they commented “Happy ‘Chinese’ New Year”.
Even the British Museum was taken to task after releasing promotional materials inviting the public to join them in celebrating “Korean Lunar New Year”. Netizens stormed the BM’s Twitter account, even calling it an “attempt to steal the limelight of the Spring Festival once again”. “It’s called Chinese New Year. According to history, the festival originated from China. What’s this Korean New Year?” they said.
On the other hand, football super star Cristiano Ronaldo too wasn’t immune from criticism after wishing his Chinese fans “a happy Chinese New Year”. Korean Netizens called him out for failing to include his other fans from Asian countries who also celebrate the holiday such as Korea and Vietnam etc; and that he should’ve used “Lunar New Year” instead.