Social media platform Bilibili is dominated by this video!
Those who have been to Bilibili recently probably know that a video titled “You'll Hardly Believe This is the Cultural Output of 2016” has quietly made it to the top of the home page!
Since I’m always in trend, I immediately noticed that the cover picture was taken near our familiar Parliament Hill!
At the time of writing, the video has received 3.113 million clicks, over 9000 bullet chat entries, as well as plenty of favourites and coins. This kind of performance is rare at Bilibili.
At noon (midnight in China), there are still more than 1,000 viewers with me on Bilibili “sharing the event.”
When you click on the video, you will immediately be moved by the celebratory atmosphere of the drums and gongs. You’ll see Canadians and Asians all singing and dancing to the beat of the drums.
The video starts with a version of Cui Jian's "Rock and Roll on the New Long March" for everyone! This version isn’t so much of Cui Jian's original singing style, it is more of a cultural blend.
The performers are from a local concert band, the lead singer also appears to be Western. He sang “Sweat and tears, but I’m not convinced” in a full voice, bringing the 1989 song into a new era.
The crowd, both local and Chinese, were captured by the novelty of the performance and stopped to watch.
After the rock and roll, a traditional Chinese folk art called clapper talk—a rhythmic form of storytelling—was performed. From the back of the bustling crowd, a young Canadian walked toward the camera signing a folk tune with great rhythm!
What’s even more adorable is that the Canadian guy performing the clapper talk, in addition to being fluent in Mandarin, also had a very good “on-the-ground” northern Chinese accent.
In addition to the clapper talk, other familiar Chinese art forms were also highlighted on this international stage. We saw people square-dancing in front of the Centre Block, which is quintessentially Chinese!
Another treat was hearing visiting Chinese international students sing “Dragon's Heir.”
Everyone on Bilibili’s bullet chat agreed that this young guy’s voice and stance were like little Wang Lihong in Ottawa!
You don’t have to believe me, but it must have taken a lot of time to rehearse, it was no improvisation.
Come on. Everyone together in unison: ’(dance) left with me to draw a dragon"!
Under such a natural stage, every performer seemed to be sincerely excited during the event, and it showed on their faces: the youth, the energy, and the pride!
Who wouldn’t be proud of the fact that Chinese songs and culture were brought across the ocean to Ottawa, the capital of Canada? It must have made even the long-time Chinese-Canadian residents homesick for China.
Then, there were beautiful young ladies singing songs related to Confucius such as Humble Gentleman, Words and Faith, and Hundred Virtues of Filial Piety, celebrating the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation.
Afterward, there were more women and men, long-time residents of Ottawa, as well as newcomers who just immigrated to Ottawa, all singing together the song “In the Field of Hope.” A little girl passing by was taken by the show.
People of different colours and races also stopped to cheer and applaud together.
The local bands in the show seemed to forget that it was winter in Ottawa.
With such passion and cheering, the snow in front of Parliament Hill seemed to start to melt under the heatwave of the people gathered!
As the title of the video on Bilibili said, “Cultural Export”, and as the clapper talk guy at the beginning said… “It’s because the power of immigrants from China is so strong that we have turned Ottawa into another “hometown” by igniting it with passion in a place separated by miles of ocean”.
And I followed their song and let my mind drift back to Ottawa in 2016. Back then, we were young, naive, and energetic!
We are also like migratory birds. Those days of growing up under the shelter of parents have finally become a thing of the past. We spread our wings and drifted to the north.
Ottawa, my dear Ottawa! It has become my cozy little home on this small planet.
Image source: Screenshot from Bilibili