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Witty Canadian girl becomes China’s latest online celebrity


When Negar “蘭蘭(Lanlan)” Kordi, an Iranian-Canadian who is studying Chinese in Ningbo city, Zhejiang Province, began to answer questions at Zhihu, a Chinese equivalent of Quora, earlier this December, little did she know that she would become the country’s latest online idol.

With her witty answers and her familiarity with Chinese online buzzwords, Kordi has won over 130,000 followers in just 15 days since she joined Zhihu.

Calling herself “foreign princess in foodies’ country (吃貨國的外國小公舉)”, which combines “foodies country” – a term used for China in the context of its delicacies – and “princess” - a word often used by Chinese social media users to tease someone who either enjoys luxuries or acts privileged, Kordi instantly caught people’s attention with her username.


Negar Kordi has a great passion for Chinese food. She says in the introduction that she loves everything in life except “sweet bean curd jelly (甜豆腐腦)” and “five kernel mooncakes (五仁月餅)”. (Photo via Zhihu)

However, what’s drawn the followers are her witty answers. For example, when asked the question “Why are foreigners more tolerant of the cold weather?”, Kordi used “面子(Mian Zi, meaning ‘face’)”, a Chinese word meaning sense of dignity, to explain her idea. She joked that while oriental girls tend to “have face” by dressing good, Canadian girls tend to feel so by dressing down.

“I want to study Chinese medicine, so that when they [Canadian girls] get old I can make money by treating their rheumatic disorders,” joked Kordi.

Answering another question “How does it feel to have a cool tattoo?”, Kordi said that she’s going to get the Chinese character “萌 (Meng)”, an online buzzword from Japanese culture that is basically an equivalent of the word “cute”, tattooed.


(Photo via Zhihu)

Kordi also kindly provides dos and don’ts for English name choices for Chinese people.

Despite her happy life with her Chinese husband, Kordi often expresses her exceptional love for Chinese actor Hu Ge.

These photos of Kordi and Hu Ge photoshopped by Kordi herself show her love for the actor.

But not all her answers are about making jokes. Some of Kordi’s heart-felt answers about her husband, and her families in Iran and Canada have won netizens’ hearts in another way.

Kordi also tells sincere stories of her family on Zhihu.

Kordi, a graduate student at Ningbo University, says that this is her fifth year in China. She says that she loves Chinese culture, especially the food culture. Of the many Chinese dishes, her favorite is stinky tofu.

Kordi said in one ofher Zhihu answers that she can use chopsticks, and that people who can usechopsticks are smart.

Kordi has also learned to love square dancing. She told Qianjiang Evening News that she often dances with Chinese aunties at a square near her home, and has almost forgotten about the ballroom dance she learned back in her hometown.


Kordi’s handwriting

On what she plans to do after graduation, Kordi says that she wants to stay in China, but would probably live in another city.