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Lack of air con revives Guangdong tradition – sleeping with a watermelon

Posted: 05/23/2013 7:00 am

As many university students prepare to face a long summer without air conditioning on campus, an old Guangdong tradition has been revived – sleeping with a watermelon. It all started when a microblog post claiming that sleeping with a piece of the fruit can reduce body temperature by 3 ℃ went viral this week.

Sleeping with a watermelon, courtesy of Changjiang Daily

According to Information Daily, Guangdong University of Technology and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies do not offer air-conditioning in dormitories. This has left students seeking alternate ways of cooling down.

A Tingzi, a sophomore construction student at Guangdong University of Technology posted last Sunday that holding a watermelon was a great substitute for air conditioning.

Meanwhile Zhang Xuefeng, a sophomore student at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and self-described “diaosi” (a slang word for loser), posted a picture of himself with a watermelon.

Changjiang Daily did its own research. A reporter from the paper held a watermelon which weighed 4.6 kg whilst lieing down for an hour. Lo and behold, his body temperature decreased from 36.2 ℃ to 33.6 ℃.

Apparently this is not a new thing in Guangdong. Mrs. Xu from Guangzhou recalls that during her childhood, she would use three things as substitutes for an electric fan, mats, spades, and watermelons.

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