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Hong Kong goes for `brokeback'

April 10, 2006|From the Associated Press

HONG KONG — The gay love story "Brokeback Mountain" has spawned a new slang term in Hong Kong.

Newspapers in the Cantonese-speaking territory have started using the new term "dun bui," or "brokeback," to describe homosexual relationships -- like the one depicted in the Oscar-winning film by Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee.

Ming Pao Daily News recently reported that male pop stars Leo Ku and Justin Lo held hands at a concert "brokeback style."

The slang's meaning seems to be expanding beyond homosexual themes to include relationships that are awkward or just aren't meant to be.

Apple Daily called a pair of politicians prevented from forming a party "obviously a brokeback couple." It was an apparent reference to the inability of the film's gay characters to shun social convention and become a couple.

Cantonese is famous for soaking up all kinds of slang. The language is spoken in Hong Kong, China's southern province of Guangzhou -- formerly known as Canton -- and in Chinatowns all over the world.

Gay activists are divided on whether the new term is helpful or harmful.

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