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Viral Video of Disabled Chinese Carpenter — Inspirational or Idealized?

Viral Video of Disabled Chinese Carpenter — Inspirational or Idealized?

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

  • New look, new features — some great RADII storytelling and insights. Our new mobile-friendly site's infinite-scroll function offers an endless selection of hot content from center of Chinese youth culture — now curated across five fresh categories.
  • Who is Erjiu, and why is the 60-something-year-old the talk of town on the Chinese internet?
  • Titled ‘Xia Ye,’ Night Swimmer's new album was shaped by a transformative hike through a mountainous region in Central China.
  • Scorching temperatures seem to be blanketing much of the globe — including China. And what better way to beat the heat than a round-up of some hot new music?
  • Located at the forefront of the C-beauty movement, Florasis brings a fresh perspective to the global cosmetics industry by reviving traditional Chinese aesthetics and cultural practices.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Viral Video of Disabled Chinese Carpenter — Inspirational or Idealized?

The latest household name in China is neither a government bigwig nor a ‘little fresh meat’ idol, but, surprisingly, an elderly Chinese citizen living in rural China.

Erjiu (meaning ‘second-oldest maternal uncle’ in Mandarin), a 60-something-year-old with a physical disability, is the subject of a short documentary that has taken the Chinese internet by storm. Titled I Went Back to the Village for Three Days and Erjiu Cured My Inner Turmoil (yep, quite a mouthful), the video was produced by a young relative and runs about 11 minutes long.

Since dropping on Bilibili, China’s answer to YouTube, on July 25, the video has gone viral in the Sinosphere and has been viewed almost 33.9 million times in just four days. On Weibo, the hashtag ‘Erjiu’ amassed more than 500 million views and topped the microblogging platform’s trending list at the time of writing.

Despite being an exceptionally bright student in his younger years, Erjiu never found favor with Lady Luck.

His greatest misfortune was crossing paths with an inept village doctor, whose solution to curing a fever was to give him four injections in one of his legs — all in a single day. This caused permanent damage to the unfortunate patient’s leg, and he has never walked normally again.

Although Erjiu initially struggled to accept his fate, he learned to fend for himself and picked up the profession of carpentry. In addition to learning woodworking, the disabled craftsman built his own tools and began eking out an existence.

While Erjiu never married, he adopted a daughter, whom he named Ning Ning, and was able to marry her off by building a premium set of furniture that served as a decent dowry — a remarkable feat for a man of his predicament and humble origins.

The filmmaker positions Erjiu’s life and struggles in the context of landmark socioeconomic changes in China, such as the country’s transition to a market economy and the dismantling of its socialist welfare system, and the documentary has been extensively covered by state media, such as People’s Daily and China Daily.

Makeup Brand Florasis Blends Chinese Aesthetics With Western Trends

Inspired by traditional Chinese beauty aesthetics, Chinese makeup brand Florasis is bringing C-beauty to the West with its luxurious and opulent products and, most recently, online makeup tutorials.

While Western beauty brands still dominate store shelves in China, especially in bigger cities, the market has seen an uptick in domestic alternatives in recent years. Chinese brands such as Florasis and Perfect Diary, which have been compared to Glossier in the U.S., endeavor to innovate and expand overseas by combining Chinese techniques and traditions with Western beauty trends.

Founded in Hangzhou in East China in 2017, Florasis has been at the forefront of a new C-beauty movement. It aims to bring a fresh perspective to the global beauty industry by reviving traditional Chinese aesthetics and cultural practices.

  • While exploring the mountains of Wuhan one night, artist He Dengke (aka Night Swimmer) was struck by inspiration. The feelings from that outdoor excursion shaped his newest album, Xia Ye, a collaboration with the electronic music label Shy People, which will be released on August 31.
Xia Ye, by Night Swimmer
11 track album
  • Born and raised in Johor, Malaysia, Rapkeys runs his own rap crew, S.A.C., and is a driving force in the tropical country’s new wave of hip hop.
  • Mango TV’s seven-episode program Go for Happiness has become China’s highest-ratedreality TV show of all time. While only four episodes of the program, which began airing on July 5, have been released, the TV series has scored a whopping 9.5/10 and has been upvoted 56,393 times on the IMDb-like platform Douban.

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