Photo credit: SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng
Henan Province is the Chinese heartland (click here to view its location in Google Maps), known for incubating ancient agrarian communities along the Yellow River (Hénán 河南 means “south of the river”).
Today, Henan is packed with people, but remains less advanced economically. Its rural residents are often the butt of jokes elsewhere in China, and Henanese people are stereotyped in China’s rich coastal cities as unsophisticated migrant workers, thieves, or worse. A story about a man in Henan stealing manhole covers for scrap made the rounds on social media a few months ago, for example.
One woman recently fought back against stereotypes of Henanese, and successfully argued in court that she was subjected to “geographic discrimination.” Sixth Tone has the details:
In an official statement Tuesday, the Hangzhou Internet Court ordered the defendant, Zhejiang Sheraton Resort Co. Ltd. — no affiliation with the U.S. company Sheraton Hotels and Resorts — to compensate the 23-year-old plaintiff, surnamed Yan, with 10,000 yuan ($1,400), mostly for “mental anguish.” The court further ordered the company to publish a public apology to the woman in domestic newspaper Legal Daily.
According to the court’s verdict, Yan applied for two roles with the company in early July: legal specialist and personal assistant to the chairman. On two notices she later received from the company, “Henanese” was written as the reason she was rejected.