“The guy at the tattoo shop told me this means brave and proud warrior in English,” said beaming Beijing teenager Hao Tsang as he pointed to the letters GARF freshly inked onto his left bicep. “It’s perfect for me because I am very bold and confident, yet spiritual.”
Tsang’s friend Yuan Chi Hao also went under the needle for some English language characters. “Mine simply says FRUNK. The letters are so beautiful and flow so smoothly into each other. The word actually means old soul with young spirit in English. How cool is that?”
Apparently, very cool.
Throngs of Chinese youths are flocking to tattoo parlors looking to colorfully emboss their bodies with “meaningful” English language words.
“I couldn’t decide between CRYMPH or DLECH,” said Chengdu high school student Mingmei Lee. “I know they both mean beautiful flower dancing in the wind in American, but I can’t decide what looks prettier.”
This strange trend mirrors a popular body art movement in the US where many Americans — especially professional basketball players and young celebrities — get Chinese language characters tattooed on their bodies. Many believe the Chinese characters add an air of spirituality to their beings and help present them as enlightened individuals who respect and admire foreign cultures.
A.J. McLean of the man-band Backstreet Boys proudly displayed his fresh ink after leaving a popular LA tattoo parlor. “Check it out,” said the very excited singer as he pointed to the characters on his left forearm. “My man just hooked me up with some mad asian ink! He says it means wise wolf that guards the pack. That’s totally me dawg… I take care of my boys. Cool dat!”
Upon further investigation, the characters were found to actaully mean dog ass.
“Listen, these Hollywood hotshots come in here every night wanting something foreign and deep. I only know how to do about twenty Chinese characters and I have no idea what they mean. But who the hell cares? They just look neat. I make up meanings like precious gem floating in pond. Dumb chicks hopped up on ex really go for that one,” said burly ex-marine tattoo artist Jake McNaughton with a hearty laugh.
Beijing tattoo artist Johnny Chang echoed the sentiments of his American counterpart, “Kids are stupid. Funny nonsense tattoos make me laugh ha ha. I take letters from American soda cans and candy wrappers and rearrange them into words. GWIPO is my number one favorite. TWARP is also pretty lucky good!”
International Culture Reporter
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