BANGKOK (Xinhua) — New icons of Chinese Internet-culture such as TikTok, fantasy novels and online dramas are gaining traction in Thailand, bringing fresh elements to the promotion of Chinese culture in the Southeast Asian country.
Teaching Chinese in a high school in northeastern province of Kalasin, Zuo Liugang has found his way to win popularity among Chinese learners from around Thailand.
As a teacher of Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, he has been working in a high school in Nongkrusi county, Kalasin Province since June of 2018. However, on the platform of TikTok, a leading video-sharing app, he managed to become a Chinese teacher with influence beyond Kalasin.
“I’ve got over 10,000 followers on TikTok and most of them are Thai students who are learning Chinese,” said 25-year-old Zuo, who has become a Internet celebrity by posting videos of Chinese-teaching lessons on TikTok.
Zuo said that although he works in a small county in a relatively remote province, TikTok has provided him with an influential platform to introduce Chinese language and culture to more people, no matter where they are.
In addition to platforms like TikTok, Chinese online dramas and novels also gave Thai fans reading and watching frenzies.
Local online reading platforms have opened new columns for Chinese web novels. Selling and renting of those books have become a thriving business for many book stores, libraries and social network sites.
In renowned chained stores named “Asian Books” in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, a number of Chinese web novels featuring Wuxia (martial heroes), Xianxia (immortal heroes) and Xuanhuan (fantasy featuring adventures and wars) have been translated into Thai and have topped the best-seller list in the area of Chinese books for a long time.
Nidawan Asavataweechok, a singer also known as Nid in a reality television series The Voice Thailand, said that she has been a big fan of Chinese culture for years. “That’s why I chose Chinese as my major in university, and performed Chinese songs in the contest.”
She told Xinhua that many Chinese web novels and dramas, with tightly coiled plots and cerebral conceits, are very popular in Thailand, especially among young generation.
In 2019, a Chinese web series named The Untamed, telling adventures of two investigators who travel around to solve a series of murders, has become a real hit in Thailand.
“Its beautiful scenery, vivid CGI, intriguing plots, and good acting make it very attractive to young people in Thailand. When the cast of The Untamed visited here in September, it became the hottest topic on social networks,” Nid said, adding that many of her friends followed the series like crazy.
Nid told Xinhua that she also created her account on TikTok recently. “I update videos of singing Chinese songs, introducing Chinese foods and sharing my understanding of Chinese culture on TikTok,” she said. “I hope I can be a promoter of Chinese culture here, a bridge of friendship between the two peoples.”
Story by Mao Pengfei, Wang Jin