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China: Let's do push-up!

You know why millions of internet users in China are doing push-up?

In Tianya.cn, posts about push-up poured in. When a new post was put on the discussion board, people would rush in and left a very short comment, for example, “I am here to do push-up!”, “What the hell has it anything to do with me? I am just here for push-up!”

Many people have registered new IDs named with phrases including or related to “push-up”. In baidu.com, where people could create groups with keywords, the push-up group gained over 10,000 posts overnight, while only some hundred a few days ago.

Fuwocheng.com, a website named with the Chinese pinyin of push-up was open. On the site, you can click on the button “make a push-up”, and then see how many people from different regions are doing the same exercise with you. Shanghai topped the list now with almost 20,000.

But there is one thing weird: you can do no more than 3 push-ups. Also, occasionally people will jump out, warning kind-heartedly that you should stop when doing 2.

注意,俯卧撑最多只能做两个,否则后果自负!

Caution! Only 2 push-ups! Or you should be responsible for your action.

And

做完俯卧撑后要四周看看,小心有人被自杀!

After doing push-ups, please watch around. Be aware that some one will be suicided !

(not a mistake, here suicide comes to be a passive voice. You'll know the answer later.)
Now, doing 3 push-ups has been called the most fatal weapon ever.

The origin of PUSH-UP tide.

The origin of push-up, with significant political implication, has to be traced back to the recent riot happened in Weng’an, Guizhou on 28, June. On that day, a crowd of more than 30.000 people set fire on the police office to protest that the local police were hiding up three young people, with potential tie to local officials, who were suspected to be responsible for the death of a 15-year-old school girl, Li Shufen (李淑芬). Li's parents claimed they raped and then killed their daughter, judged by her injured body.

Rumors pointed that police exculpated for the real murders, saying the girl was only drowned.

Though the scene of unrest was recorded by locals’ cellphones and cameras, shocking the country when people saw hundreds of junior high kids smashing and breaking up the police station, the state media only gave a few words on it, claiming it was an incident ignited by a few criminals.

Meanwhile, the censorship was launched, and administrators were working 24 hours a day to wipe out any related entry on the Chinese internet. But the videos and words of mouth were impossible to be taken out completely.

Though under the pressure, not until 1 July did the Office of Information in Guizhou finally published an official statement. It changed no tone, still attributing the unrest to a crowd misdirected by a small group of agitators, and defended that the girl was drowned without being raped.

Exactly this statement, which brought back what happened at the night of 21, in police’s point of view, gave birth to the great tide of push-up.

A passage (quote from Caijing.com) goes as follow:

经过调查得知,6月21日20时许,李树芬与女友王某一起邀约出去玩,同李树芬的男朋友陈某及其朋友刘某等吃过晚饭后,步行到西门河边大堰桥处闲谈。李树 芬在与刘某闲谈时,突然说:“跳河死了算了,如果死不成就好好活下去”。刘某见状急忙拉住李树芬,制止其跳河行为。约10分钟后,陈某提出要先离开。当陈 某走后,刘某见李树芬心情平静下来,便开始在桥上做俯卧撑。当刘某做到第三个俯卧撑的时候,听到李树芬大声说“我走了”,便跳下河中。

The investigation shows, at 8.00 pm 21, June, Li hang out with Wang, his boyfriend Chen, and Liu, a girl (4 altogether). After dinner, they chatted and walked to the Dayan bridge across the West Gate River. While talking with Liu, Li suddenly said: “I’ll just jump into the river, whatever. But if I am not dead, I’ll live on.” Liu had to pull Li back immediately to prevent her from suicide. Ten minutes later, Chen left. Liu, because he saw Li had already calmed down, started to do push-up on the bridge. When doing the third one, he suddenly heard Li crying “I leave”. Then Li jumped into the river.

3 hours later, her body was found.

3 push-ups, a fatal weapon, a curse, or a magic? At least this is the greatest fun people found from this statement, making people burst into laugh. Numerous suspicions had not been clarified. How dare gangsters smash police office? Are all the kids shown in the videos criminals? Why did Li want to commit suicide? Why was Li’s uncle roughed up after complaining to the police office? There was no explanation, but a push-up joke.

As the war of posting and post-deleting was still going on, netizens were fed up with further struggle. Finally, a few minutes after the official statement, a post named 我是来做俯卧撑的 (I am here to do push-up) showed up on Tianya, and the push-up campaign gained momentum in a crazy speed. Posts alike sprawled over the internet. This might be the only way in which netizens are able to allude to what they care, or just simply vent their anger and grief.

给我做三下俯卧撑,我也能推动地球。——阿基米德

做俯卧撑还是不做,是个问题。——哈姆雷特

我有一个梦想,有这麽一天,每一个黑人都可以自由地做俯卧撑,而没有人去问他们为什么!——马丁.路德.金

Give me 3 push-ups, I can push the earth. ——-Archimedes
To push-up or not to push-up, that's the question. ——–Hamlet
I have a dream, that one day black can do push-up freely, and nobody will ask why. ——-Martin Luther King.

The list goes on.

An anchorman doing push-up at Bird-nest

A famous host Qu Zhihang(区志航) is doing push-up at the the National Stadium, picture from Qu's blog.

Famous saying were changed into push-up mode. Famous stories were replaced into a push-up plot. Celebrities pictured themselves doing push-up. People’s creativity silently but vividly fights against the censorship. We do push-up!

  • http://www.cnreviews.com Kai

    LoL. I’m glad this is getting the humourous coverage it deserves on GVO. China may not be the Great Peace Lover but she sure is the Great Push Upper! ;)

  • Zictor

    全球人民俯卧撑!!!

  • Sichi

    there must be something wrong with the local government and the police !

  • Jeremy Clarke

    Great story. Kind of a morbid joke, but it’s great to read about the weird memes that crop up in different spheres.

  • http://battutabahrain.blogspot.com Ayesha Saldanha

    Fascinating post!

  • Hm

    Is push-ups what the guys do in China to impress the girls, or some kind of pastime?

  • Pingback: quirkyBeijing » Blog Archive » quirkyBeijing reads: finding the gently offbeat in a decidedly uncute city

  • Ahua

    Nude pushup shots near “Bird’s Nest”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/07/content_8504608.htm

  • bob

    Thank you all for the comments!

    To Hm: I think push-up is for exercice, muscle-building (then attract girls, maybe) until recently when such a new meaning is attached.

  • Ben

    It would be nice if push-up is added as a sport to the Olympics.

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