Putin’s Cultural Faux Pas

Putin’s Cultural Faux Pas

Blog, Chinese Culture
14/12/2014
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Vladamir Putin (弗拉基米尔-普京) recently caused controversy during the Asia-Placific Economic Cooperation [APEC] forum as he placed a shawl over the Chinese First Lady, Peng Liyuan (彭丽媛). The move, which may at first appear to be an act of mere chivalry, was interpreted very differently in China – as netizens took to social media to discuss the cultural faux pas.

There were some suggestions that Vladamir Putin was flirting with the First Lady, whilst others believed the cultural clash to be rooted much deeper than that. At best, Xi Jinping (习近平) was made to look inattentive towards his wife, despite being sat no more than a few feet away.

Peng Liyuan politely accepted the offer before swiftly swapping the shawl for a black coloured coat passed to her by an aide. After so long spent at the forefront of politics, you would expect that the gesture from the Russian leader was a little more calculated than it first appeared…

 

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