Pride and Prejudice

The third annual cross-cultural performance night at Northwest University in Xi'an was meant to showcase the international flavor of the school's language institute. Such talent shows at Chinese universities generally cleave to conventions: skits are formal, easy to understand and never bawdy. But when three Japanese students and a Japanese teacher took the stage they had something a little more racy in mind.

The teacher held a female mannequin in his hand. "This is my girlfriend," he said. "She's too fat, and she ought to go on a diet." Then the three students, who wore cardboard boxes on...

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