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“Mashang” Style

Updated: 2014-01-15 16:44:28

According to a research report released recently by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Sociology, the dreams that Chinese people desire to realize most include: more money, bigger home, and security. And the “increase in income” topped the list. With the coming of the year of the horse, “becoming rich immediately” is people’s most favorite blessing. While in the last year of the horse, idioms with profound meaning like “getting off the ground”, “taking the lead” were most popular. Social changes result in the variation of language, which in turn reflects social changes directly. Nowadays, why do people express their wishes and blessings so straightforward? What do we learn from such phenomenon? With the coming of the year of the horse.

“Mashang” (which can mean 'on the horse' or 'immediately')style goes viral on the internet. In Chinese, something on horseback is called ma shang, but it also means to get something immediately. Pictures of toy ponies with bank notes stacked on back are common. The phrase ma shang you qian conjures up the image of immediate riches.

The trend has been most popular on Weibo and Wechat. Some netizens put money on the back of pony dolls, suggesting getting money in the near future. This reflected their wish for a rich new year, and drew the attention of many other netizens. Netizens started to look for horses at home with their imagination and creativity. Some found pony dolls, while those who failed found “horses” on their greeting cards or calendars, on which they put money. Some even took closestool as horse, which they carpeted with hundred-yuan bills.

Besides, they also got new ideas. Some laid down the horse and put money on it, meaning “wo ma shang you qian” in Chinese, which is similar to “I will become rich immediately”. Soon afterwards, ideas like “wearing golden decorations immediately”, “placing an order immediately” were also popular on the internet.

 In another variation, some have posted pictures of a pet dog on a horse. The Chinese pronunciation is the same as “power on a merry-go-round” and these users are wishing for a better career future. To vent their dissatisfaction with the lack of holidays, some have stuck a little cross called a jia, which means holiday, on a horse-shaped key chain. Others want it all. They have drawn an eggplant, a homophone for “everything” in Chinese, on horseback because they want all their dreams to come true immediately.

However, some microbloggers said the desire for material things reflects a feeling of insecurity as housing prices skyrocket and there are calls to delay retirement. Wu Xiaowei, an office worker, told Information Times: “Many people have become slaves to acquire a house, car and other possessions. When we feel down about life we say, ‘ma shang you qian’ and feel a bit better.”

 As for Chinese people’s materialism, Li Yinhe, a research fellow in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Sociology points out in her work that, apart from material things, people should pursue beauty and love, consume and create spiritual products like literature, art, music, fine arts, science, philosophy, etc. They should spend some time pondering on the meaning of life. What is more, they should concern about social improvements, help those vulnerable groups and seek social justice by eradicating the bad elements and supporting the good, so that they can protect the society.


Link : | China Daily | Chinaculture.org |

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