海带

Pronounced: hǎi dài
Literally: seaweed (kelp)
Means: a derogatory term for Chinese who go overseas to study, but return to move back home without a prestigious degree or highly profitable job skills. This is replacing the more positive term “sea turtles,” which in the past referred to the privileged few who studied overseas and returned with impressive and lucrative credentials. As the opportunity to study overseas becomes more common, the enormous expectations from family that often go with it are sometimes unmet.

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