Date
26 September 2017
Biangbiang is a noodle dish in Shaanxi province, but for a class in Chengdu, biang is a form of extreme punishment for being late. Photo: Internet
Biangbiang is a noodle dish in Shaanxi province, but for a class in Chengdu, biang is a form of extreme punishment for being late. Photo: Internet

What’s in a biang? A lot of punishment if you’re late for class

Come to school on time or get “bianged”.

The word may not exist as a verb in the Chinese dictionary but it didn’t stop a schoolteacher in Chengdu, frustrated by habitual tardiness by his students, from using it as a call to action.

Since Wang Sijun introduced it to their vocabulary, the students have been remarkably punctual, according to Apple Daily.

Soon, he might see everyone in early.

When Wang punished latecomers by getting them to submit 1,000 handwritten English words, he hit upon a deterrent.

But a few students continued to show up late for class. It turns out they had found a way to cheat the system.

Not this time.

Wang turned up the heat with biang, a word that mimics a certain sound (also called onomatopoeia).

It’s a relatively new term, often associated with a certain dish.

But it’s not the sound or the taste that’s making it such an effective punishment. It’s the sheer challenge of writing it.

The character consists of 60 strokes. Now, imagine having to write 1,000 biangs if you’re late.

Torture.

A schoolgirl, surnamed Cheng, was so worn out after the 200th biang she promised not to be late again.

Another student lasted four hours but gave up halfway through, completely washed out. 

Wang can thank his travels for bumping into biang.

During the long national day holiday, he went to Xian in Shaanxi province, where biang is a popular word. There, biangbiang is a noodle dish.

Wang said his students are not amused but he does not mean to be cruel.

“I only want them to be serious and responsible about their studies,” he said.

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