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Racism row at uni over ‘chopstick’ fancy dress

Party: The two students in costume

TWO students have denied racism after they were accused of wearing ‘yellow-face’ make-up to a Chinese New Year party.

The duo, who faced outrage when photos of them surfaced online, insist they were dressed up not as people but as a pair of chopsticks.

They wore rectangular cardboard hats and strips of cardboard down their fronts, painted with Mandarin characters that read ‘New Year’, ‘suck my chopsticks’ and ‘I love hockey’.

A fellow party guest said they painted their faces beige to complete their look, but it faded and appeared yellow in the photo taken at the end of the night.

One of the two Edinburgh university students, speaking anonymously, said they ‘understand and sincerely apologise for any offence’. He added: ‘It is extremely upsetting, given our genuine intention was to dress as chopsticks.’

The president of the university’s Hong Kong International Society, Robyn Ma, said the picture showed a ‘flagrant act of disrespect’. She added: ‘Wearing “yellow-face” and carrying signs with texts mocking our culture is incredibly offensive. I’d like to believe this wasn’t racial discrimination, but ignorance.’