Eggman stunned at international popularity of 'Xue Hua Piao Piao'

By Sun Haoran Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/15 16:53:40

Zhang Aiqin, whose nickname is "the Eggman," becomes an international meme after posting himself performing "Yi Jian Mei" - which means plum blossom branch - while twirling in the snow and filming himself. Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Aiqin

An actor with the nickname "Eggman" said he had never thought he would become an international meme on social media platforms in the US and other Western countries after a video of him singing an old Chinese song went viral on the internet, adding that he loved the remixed videos of the song made by his fans and thanked them for their support.

Recently, a video known as "Asian Man Singing in the Snow" or "Xue Hua Piao Piao" (the lyrics of the song performed in the video), depicting an Asian man with an egg-shaped head performing "Yi Jian Mei" - which means plum blossom branch - while twirling in the snow and filming himself has gained mainstream popularity, according to a report by internet memes research website Know Your Meme.

The Asian man in the video is named Zhang Aiqin and is a director, actor and movie producer in Beijing. He was born with a sharp egg-shaped head, which earned him the nickname "Dan Ge (the Eggman)." 

The original video was first posted by Zhang under the user name 366174053 on Kuaishou, a short video platform, as early as January 20, and gained more than 3 million views and over 9,200 comments as of Wednesday after YouTube user Goated Beats uploaded the clip four weeks ago.

"I have never thought that I could become an international meme, and I am really flattered," Zhang told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"It was so random that I videotaped myself singing 'Yi Jian Mei' in the snow in Beijing's Changping district," said Zhang. "I like singing old songs and had only intended to share my joy and happiness with other users."

"Yi Jian Mei" was first sung by the singer-songwriter Fei Yu-ching from the island of Taiwan in 1983 and has been extremely popular for decades in Chinese culture. The video of the song on YouTube had been viewed over 16 million times as of Wednesday, after it became popular in the English-speaking world. 

Fei Yu-ching, the singer-songwriter from the island of Taiwan who first sang the classic Chinese song Yi Jian Mei in 1983 Photo: VCG

It was also trending in many countries' music lists, including those in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand.

After the video went viral, many TikTokers remixed the song and created a deep-fried meme trend to pair it with Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Some internet users even made rap videos mixed with "Yi Jian Mei" and "Wild for the Night" performed by Skrillex or a clip from the Regular Show.

Zhang said he has received many friendly requests from overseas on his WeChat account and noted that he was happy to see that so many people like his work and thanked them for their support.

The news attracted the attention of many Chinese internet users, even though many of them felt confused that Yi Jian Mei has suddenly become the first Chinese song to go viral on social media in the Western world.

"Why has a long-time Chinese song that didn't reach the mainstream in the US become so well-known at this time?" one netizen asked, adding that "I still don't get it after seeing the video of the egg-like man in the snow."

"It is because of the egg-like man's physical deformity. People in the West may find it hilarious and like repeating it as it's mysterious and exotic," another replied. "It's just for fun."

Although many netizens said they would never have thought that this quintessentially Chinese song could catch the attention of many people from the West, they admitted that its remixed raps sound good.

"Social media does help foster cultural exchanges between countries with totally different backgrounds, though in unexpected ways sometimes. You never know when and how a certain song suddenly becomes popular," one commented.


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