5 min read

Who Let the Dogs Out on the Dance Floor?

Who Let the Dogs Out on the Dance Floor?

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.

  • You don’t need a fancy outfit or makeup or even to waste money on club entrance fees, ‘cloud clubbing’ in the metaverse is accessible and open to all.
  • Some netizens in lockdown have claimed to seek comfort and companionship in Pang Kuan’s Livestream.
  • While living in a convenience store might seem rather stressful, the FamilyMart employee we spoke with is in surprisingly high spirits.
  • Taiwanese singer and composer Liu Genghong has risen in the eyes of Chinese netizens thanks to his intense and occasionally comical workouts.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Meme-Inspired ‘Cloud Clubbing’: The New Frontier of Metaverse Madness

Every night between 9 and 10 PM, tens of thousands of Shiba Inu dogs rock the dance floor at one of China’s hottest nightclubs. Some nurse beers and milk tea between their paws, several bounce basketballs with surprising dexterity, and others are glued to games on their mobile phones.

No, you haven’t gone barking mad; the scene before you is in the metaverse and the furry crowd is made up of avatars.

The nightclub in question, Xiugou Nightclub, is the setting for a virtual reality party that’s livestreamed daily. To witness the spectacle, log on to the Chinese video-sharing website Bilibili.

One of many global trends to have risen since Covid cast its shadow around the globe, cloud clubbing is the new alternative to sweaty dance floors and boozy nights out.

Instead of fretting over the perfect outfit and putting on makeup, simply power up your computer, sit back, and relax — and trust your cute Shiba avatar to break out the dance moves.

Most cloud parties are essentially livestreams where DJs spin records for virtual audiences. On video platforms such as Zoom, webcams often depict cloud clubbers sipping their drinks and bobbing their heads to the music.

But Xiugou Nightclub is a whole different animal, involving memes and interactive gaming.

Montreal, Canada. She is 4 years old. It’s a special day, and she knows it. After all, ah ma has baked a cake. “Say cheese!” says someone wielding a clunky camera, but it’s hard to sit still in ah ma’s loving embrace. How can she when there is cake?

Still Montreal. She is 5. This year, she is permitted to crack the eggs into the baking bowl. She is a big girl now. Ah ma performs her magic, spinning raw ingredients into pretty confectionary. The strawberry cake layered with fresh cream is every bit as good as she remembers.

Seattle, Washington. At 37, she does it all now, from cracking the eggs in the bowl to adding the finishing touches to her treats. Her son helps out sometimes, but he is more smitten with savory eats.

It’s a universal story that never gets old: Italians learn to lick the spoon while cooking with nonna, Mexicans credit their love of the stove to abuela, and so on and so forth. For Kat Lieu, this matriarch of the family was ah ma (the word for ‘paternal grandmother’ in the Chinese dialect of Hokkien, embraced by several other dialects and languages).

“She spoke Cantonese perfectly but also Vietnamese,” says Lieu of her paternal grandmother. During a Zoom interview that coincidentally falls on Qingming Festival, Lieu takes a trip down memory lane, recounting memories of her ah ma, whose parents migrated to Vietnam to carve out a better life. Here, they came to own landed property, which many of their tenants turned into restaurants. The dutiful daughter’s job was to collect rent — a task turned the opportunity to interact with and learn from chefs and restaurateurs.

“She learned how to make traditional Chinese foods, including mooncakes, from scratch, and was exposed to the French techniques that had seeped into Vietnamese cuisine,” recalls Lieu.

“Choux pastries, homemade ice cream… and then there was that chiffon cake,” she adds. “That very memorable chiffon cake with the fresh cream and the fruit.” It’s the kind of cake you’ll find at most any Chinese or Asian bakery.

“It’s the first memory I have of baking.”

Check out the doyenne of Asian-style home baking discusses reclaiming Asian narratives in the kitchen and on the web.

  • Before being picked up by censors, Chinese netizens were using a coded phrase to express their longing to migrate overseas.
  • Elon Musk made history when he purchased Twitter for a staggering 44 billion USD. A handful of netizens have praised the 'power of banknotes,' some have expressed skepticism, and others still have created hilarious memes.
  • A collaboration between China’s premier fashion showcase and the popular lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, ‘Design Verse’ features fashion items that can only be worn online.
  • Adapted from Italian author Alberto Simone’s screenplay Un Amore a Roma (Love in Rome), The Italian Recipe premiered at Udine’s Far East Film Festival on April 22. The film’s stunning cinematography and unique soundtrack make it a must-watch for East Asian rom-com aficionados.
  • From T-shirts with offensive slogans perpetuating stereotypes of Asian peoples to discriminatory hiring practices, Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't look hot in this new Netflix film.

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:

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