TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- China's netizens quickly became outraged after Chinese supermodel Liu Wen posted "Happy Lunar New Year" on her Instagram page instead of "Happy Chinese New Year," first reported BBC.
On Monday (Feb. 19), the 30-year-old Chen posted an image with herself and the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng Murdoch and typed seemingly benign and short message, which simply read, "Happy Lunar New Year!!!" Though Chen, may have been trying to be more inclusive of her fans from countries that have similar lunisolar new year's traditions besides China, it was Chinese netizens that quickly leaped the Great Firewall of China to flood her page with negative comments for excluding "Chinese" in her post.
In Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and other countries outside of China in East Asia, the English term "Chinese New Year" has fallen out of favor and has been replaced with the term "Lunar New Year" as the preferred term to describe the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar in English, as it does not imply a specific nationality. However, in the latest salvo in an ongoing war on political correctness by Chinese netizens, multiple critical messages typed in Simplified Chinese characters, indicative of users from China, soon surfaced on the post.
Chinese netizens criticized Liu for turning her back on her country and her heritage by excluding "Chinese" from her message. They also blamed Vietnamese and South Korean netizens for insisting on using Lunar New Year instead.
However, other netizens, including some Chinese, came to her defense saying that the use of "Lunar" was not technically wrong, as it is indeed based on a lunisolar calendar, and wrote that she was justified in using it as neutral term to include more fans in Asia enjoying the holiday, both Chinese and non-Chinese.
Nevertheless, Liu caved into pressure from her countrymen and changed it to say "Happy Chinese New Year" instead.
(Screenshot from @liuwenlw Instagram account)