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Guangdongers Join “Patriotic Hygiene Campaign” to Fight Dengue Fever

Posted: 10/9/2014 9:50 am
fumigation dengue fever guangdong

Anti-mosquito campaign in Foshan.

Dengue fever has become a full-blown epidemic in Guangdong, with the province’s Bureau for Health and Family Planning reporting the number of cases has risen to 23,146. With more people dying from the disease, the government is asking the public to lend a patriotic hand in addressing the epidemic.

fumigation dengue fever guangdong

With six deaths and thousands of new cases being reported every day, it is hard to believe that Dengue fever is preventable, curable, and controllable. Yang Zhicong, deputy head of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control, said that although the situation appears dire, the Dengue fever epidemic should be under control by the end of October:

Guangzhou and many other regions have recently adopted measures to prevent the proliferation of Dengue Fever and to destroy mosquitoes and their spawning areas. At present, we are making progress.

The progress Yang refers to includes a government “patriotic hygiene campaign” to combat Dengue fever, declaring that every citizen has a duty to help stop the epidemic by eradicating mosquitoes and their spawning pools.

The following pictures of mass outdoor fumigation show citizens doing their part:

fumigation dengue fever guangdongfumigation dengue fever guangdongfumigation dengue fever guangdong

The chemical clouds of smoke have been described as an “anti-mosquito agent” and is being used on a grand scale. While Foshan just launched a city-wide mosquito eradication campaign, Guangzhou has been at it for much longer. Every day, 160 face-mask wearing “eradicating mosquito heroes” in Guangzhou spray 35 kilograms of the mystery agent.

fumigation dengue fever guangdong

fumigation dengue fever guangdong

Photos: Foshan DailyChina DailyGanguangdu


“My Little Apple” Viral Dance Video Becomes Military Recruitment Tool

Posted: 07/30/2014 11:05 am

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistmentIn case you haven’t heard the song or seen the video yet (and you probably have), My Little Apple is a music video from the film ”Old Boys: The Ferocious Dragon Crosses the River” by the Chopstick Brothers that has gone viral in China (you can watch it below).

The song itself is pedestrian ditty in which an apple is used as a metaphor to symbolize one’s feelings towards a lover, but the song shines as a vehicle to showcase absurd comedy that is de rigeur in China in the absence of any insightful satire.

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

However, the song’s true mass appeal lies in the emulation of its dance that, let’s face it, concentrates movements away from the hips and into the upper body, appealing to dancing grannies in public squares all around the country (here are examples of tribute videos).

We saw a huge outpouring of spoof videos during the last dance phenomenon to hit China, Gangnam Style, and it looks like everyone wants in on this latest Chinese internet meme, up to and including the Ministry of Defense. While the Ministry features enlisted service personnel dancing in its video, it also features things the other videos don’t: namely military jets and rockets.

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

As reported by China Daily, this video was made by the Ministry of Defense and serves as a recruitment tool. While you listen to a song with lyrics about how love is like an apple, the Ministry of Defense urges viewers to take up arms and charge to the front lines in order to defeat China’s enemies all while featuring military personnel taking the time out of their busy schedules to line dance on camera.

Here’s the video:

And if watching the visual spectacle isn’t enough for you, here is a translation of the text that appears onscreen along with notes when they appear in the song so that you can sing along in English if you’d like:

My Little Apple (text by Ministry of Defense)

Because youth have dreams
A bright light enchants with its glow
Because youth have dreams
Signifies that there is an extraordinary significance
Each person, each youth, all have a dream
and have wonderful rights and privileges

Graduation is when youth set sail again
As they reap a life without regret
Do you still remember flying the Nine Heavens as a child?
Do you have the impulse to travel the five seas?

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Do you still remember when good men carried meter-long swords

and stood with pride as they kept their oaths?
Come, and join the military
We will never abandon our invitation to the youth

There is no greater glory than to enlist in the military

Because a dream perseveres
It signifies that it is more valuable
Because a dream perseveres
it can reap lofty goals
Each youth has their own dream
Each dream has its shining glory

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Pursuing a dream is life’s never-ending subject
Playing a strong tone will get rid of mediocre sounds
Do you still remember the first time you saw the flag being raised?
How moved you were when you saw the parade?

Do you still remember when in defending the homeland when you were younger,

punishing evil and eliminating traitors with a steel will?
Run to the army and become a soldier!
Let each peaceful sun set and rise become warmer

my little apple dance video internet meme propaganda military enlistment

Pick up a pen, join the military
Fulfill your dreams in an army barrack

Use the opportunity of your youth
and stimulate your life!

For your dreams, charge and break through enemy lines!

Homeland! I am coming!

If you don’t have enough little apples in your life by now, here’s the original version:

Photos: Screenshots from Sohu, Youtube


PRD People: Medical Trainer and Online Celebrity Winston Sterzel

Posted: 06/5/2014 11:00 am

Mark Rowswell, better known as Dashan, once remarked that the statement “Westerners don’t understand China” is easier to take when you realize that Chinese people don’t understand China either. Sometimes however, a Westerner comes along who tries to make sense of the Middle Kingdom and wins recognition from his host country for his efforts in doing so.

Winston Sterzel, 33, a British-South African medical training manager who has been in Shenzhen for eight years, has been praised by plenty of Chinese netizens for the astuteness of his online videos which give an introduction to the “real China.” His motorcycle tours have taken him to dozens of cities and small towns, but the portal through which he understands the Middle Kingdom is Shenzhen, a city he fell in love with during a business trip and came to despite having no contacts here.

Winston Sterzel

Sterzel has a large following on YouTube, Facebook, and Youku and has been featured in Shenzhen-based media eleven times. He has kindly taken the time to talk to The Nanfang about road trips, cold beer, internet celebrity and Chinese nationalism.

Living in Shenzhen

After moving to Shenzhen eight years ago, he immersed himself in the local Chinese community while learning the language. “Shenzhen is a migrant city, you meet people from every corner of China in Shenzhen, and as a result are exposed to the many dialects, customs and foods from all over China,” Sterzel told The Nanfang.

He works for a medical training company, training doctors in international hospital rules, etiquette, medical terminology and other things related to internships in Australia and Germany. Another one of his main activities is taking motorcycle trips around China. Either through business trips or lone adventures he has biked his way to Dalian, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai and many other far flung places. His videos about riding to Guilin gained 10,000 hits per episode, almost 80,000 in total.

Despite all this travelling, it is Buji that he calls home. “I tend to stay away from the mainstream expat hangouts and prefer to hang out in the urban villages at small local restaurants,” said Sterzel. “I am the only foreigner in the community,” he added.

He is fond of almost all of the things that make Shenzhen what it is. “Although I do occasionally enjoy visiting a posh restaurant in a posh area (Near the MixC or Coastal city etc) my work and daily travels take me trough all the different districts in Shenzhen,” Sterzel told The Nanfang.

“I know the city very well and still my favourite places are the urban villages such as Shui wei cun, Xia Sha cun, Sha zui cun, Buji Zhen etc etc, basically anywhere with a vibrant night life, cold beers and all night BBQ,” he added.

Internet videos

Sterzel’s biggest claim to fame is his online videos that give outsiders an introduction to what he calls “the real China.” The series include “China, How It Is,” “Mandarin on Demand,” and “Village Crawls.”

As well as having over 26,000 subscribers on his YouTube page, his videos – which strive to inform other foreigners about China, have become an unexpected success with Chinese audiences.

A Chinese website picked up his videos, added subtitles and put them on Youku and Tudou. Shenzhen Daily reported in 2012 that his videos were popular both because Chinese appreciated seeing how outsiders see their country and to help teach themselves English:

“It is very interesting to see how foreigners think about China and us. He knows so much and is very objective. I particularly like one of his most popular episodes, ‘Are Chinese girls easy?’ It is so fun and so true,” one of the netizens, identified as “Nulixuexi,” said.

Here is part 1 of that episode:

His videos touching on more prosaic matters such as transportation, the cost of living and food have also proved a hit. “I like to show people what China is really like and dispel all the nonsense ideas that people have,” said Sterzel.

Ups and downs

Sterzel’s best experiences in Shenzhen have come as a result of breaking through the foreign bubble and getting to know the locals. “I work side by side with motorcycle mechanics in my area and have pretty much been accepted as part of their family,” said Sterzel.

However, in both real life and in the comments sections of his videos there is one major negative that he has to deal with. “The absolutely ridiculous, irrational and overblown ultra nationalism that can rear its ugly head at any given moment can turn even the nicest of local people into the worst sort of lynch mob imaginable,” said Sterzel.

“As a foreigner it is always very important to avoid treading on anyone’s national pride,” he told The Nanfang. If you sift through the comments sections of his videos you will see the odd Chinese netizen take issue with some of his less rosy observations.

In spite of this, his insights into his adopted country have made him a recognisable figure in the local media establishment. Shenzhen television interviewed him just a few weeks ago. Some netizens have even said that watching his stuff is better than reading any travel guide, and there are plenty of Chinese netizens who would back up Sterzel’s claims.

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