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Chinese Ministry Deletes ‘Turban’, ‘Brownface’ Controversial Ad After Criticism

The advertisement received criticism outside the country for mocking Indians and India.

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South Asians
2 min read
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China’s Ministry of Public Security recently released a video encouraging road safety and reminding its citizens to wear a helmet. But the ad created controversy on the internet. Soon, China’s Ministry of Public Security deleted the video from their social media. 

What Was The Ad About?

The video, used for the road safety campaign, was sampled from an original video shared by Chinese influencer Hao Ge Ge on a video-sharing website called Douyin, where it received more than a million likes. Hao’s video was a parody of Daler Mehndi’s famous song Tunak Tunak Tun released in 1998. 

Hao’s video features him in a turban and riding a motorcycle with two other men dressed similarly with their faces heavily coloured with brown dark using makeup. Neither of them were wearing helmets. A fourth man also dressed similarly, is seated in a car beside them. Behind him are three-fair skinned women dressed in traditional lehenga-cholis. 

The advertisement received criticism outside the country for mocking Indians and India.

The video featured Chinese men and women dressed in traditional Punjabi outfits.

Photo: Twitter/@aadilbrar

The South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese ministry’s official account uploaded the video on its Weibo, a Twitter-like website, on Saturday, May 6. 

"Reminder from the police: You should fasten your seat belt even when you are sitting at the back of a car. Always remember when you ride a motorbike, don't hit the road without a helmet!" said the caption to the post. 

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The Backlash 

The advertisement received criticism outside the country for mocking Indians and India.

Brownface, which is similar to blackface, is considered a racist caricature and is condemned across the world. 

The video created a controversy on Twitter, with some severe reactions from Indian users. One user wrote, “Yes, they are very much mocking India, Bollywood and Indians.”  

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Controversy    China   Weibo 

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