Chinese YouTube star Yuan Yi (who hails from Wenzhou) has been criticised by “patriots” on the mainland for deliberately imitating Taiwanese accent. Yuan Yi explained in the following video that given that Mandarin is not the only language used in Wenzhou, her Mandarin accent is unavoidably influenced by southern Chinese dialects.
She revealed that most people in her hometown do not speak standard Mandarin. Even though she is well trained and even received certification for standard Mandarin pronunciation, she needs to pay particular attention to her pronunciation to be able to speak standard Mandarin to a high standard.
She explained that whenever she speaks casually, her Mandarin may not sound very “standard” and could be mistaken for sounding “Taiwanese”. She strongly denied that she was deliberately trying to fake Taiwanese accent.
Some of you could be wondering, why does she even need to explain? Well, she may be doing it for her own personal safety; trying to protect herself from mob behaviour. Saying the “wrong” things and behaving “inappropriately” may cost an influencer dearly in mainland China.
In recent days, a lot of the behaviour conveniently labelled as “racism” is merely a kind of bullying inflicted on people in a different and weaker camp. The camps or communities may be differentiated by skin colour, but not necessarily so. It’s ultimately a sense of strength and superiority of one group over another.