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.
- After her grandfather’s passing, a Chinese-Brazilian woman in the U.S. began looking into her family history. Her touching journey of discovery reconnected her with her Hunanese kin and heritage.
- Disheartened by China’s intense work culture and dwindling job market, Chinese youth have turned to pet videos as a distraction, helping to elevate a whole slew of pet influencers.
- Gosling’s viral Ken look — a fake tan and platinum blonde hair — has been deemed tacky by Chinese social media users.
- An incidence of drink spiking in Shanghai and the violent attack against four women in Tangshan have sparked public discourse on gender-based violence in China.
- South Korean online streaming platform is launching two new reality shows revolving around queer relationships. However, polarized views on queer representation persist among Chinese netizens.
Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.
It’s hard not to marvel at a good reunion story — those rare instances when the barriers of emotional baggage, bureaucracy, borders, and the passing of time are broken down in the search for a long-lost family.
My China Roots is in the business of making these odds-defying endeavors a reality for Chinese people worldwide. It’s their proverbial bread and butter — or, uh, bao and BBQ.
Erin Ross is one such success story: A Chinese-Brazilian millennial, Erin grew up in California, where her unique cultural background often drew curiosity from her peers.
With the help of MCR, she was able to locate relatives in China who, for generations, were estranged by circumstances beyond her control. Erin’s story is of not one but two improbable pursuits in which defying the odds are, oddly enough, a defining feature. And it all begins with her grandfather, Chen Yiwei.
“He was a trailblazer in every way,” Erin says proudly of her late grandpa. Her parents describe him as quiet and stoic, but she remembers Chen as a warm presence in her life.
“Of all the grandkids, I was the only one to ask, ‘Grandpa, can you give me my Chinese name?’”
Chen didn’t take the request lightly. He gave Erin the auspicious title of Si Zhong (思中), which carries the dual meaning of being ‘in midthought’ and ‘missing China’ — an ever-present sentiment in his years away from home that would also come to define the life of his granddaughter in the coming decades.
Oka first became famous after a batch of stickers featuring her irresistible grin circulated in a small community on the Chinese super-app WeChat. Now, with four YouTube videos with 1 million views each, she is undoubtedly an influencer, if not a minor celebrity, with an active presence on the Chinese video platform Bilibili and microblogging platform Weibo, as well as Instagram and YouTube.
Mundane as they may seem, Oka’s daily antics — from scurrying through a snowdrift to falling asleep during a massage and rubbing her owner’s leg when wanting to be petted — captivate some 300,000 followers on Bilibili.
If you haven’t already guessed, Oka is a puppy. Specifically, a 4-year-old red Shiba Inu with a penchant for odorous objects, balls, and temper tantrums, says owner Susan, who asked to be identified by her first name.
Oka’s little sister Chako, a black and tan Shiba Inu, regularly costars with Oka on her social media channel.
The duo racks up likes and views just by being themselves. With more than 2.8 million views, the most-watched video on ‘Oka the Shiba Inu,’ their YouTube channel, depicts the brattish duo fighting over snacks — a surprisingly simple topic.
Meanwhile, the most-viewed video on their Bilibili channel is titled ‘Pretend to Pet Your Dog Challenge’ — further proof that people gravitate towards fun and mindless content.
“When we started making videos, we wanted to document Oka and Chako’s daily life. And I think this is what their fans love to see — their true and natural selves,” says Susan.
- South Korea’s first queer reality TV shows get mixed reception in China.
- Chinese audio platform Ximalaya has earned the exclusive rights to release the first Chinese-language version of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as audiobooks.
- On June 14, Rap of China, the wildly popular rap competition show, officially revealed its 2022 lineup of 24 all-star rappers. As you’d expect, the list of elite contestants features some familiar names from China’s hip hop scene, such as Psy.P, Gai, Vava, and MC HotDog.
- According Weibo, the fifth season of the dance show Street Dance of China will welcome a new lineup of captains.
- Fans of ‘Squid Game’ in China have expressed their excitement on Weibo, where a hashtag for the show’s second season has gained more than 130 million views.
Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions: