Internet celebrity promotes ice and snow culture

Updated : 2024-02-08

By ( China Daily )

Over the past month, Jiang Kedong has amassed over 2.7 million followers on Douyin, China's version of TikTok that has become one of the most popular short video platforms in the nation.
The 38-year-old is better known as "Bingcheng Zuoyouge" or "Brother Left and Right in Ice City", and has transitioned from being a local entertainer to a widely recognized internet celebrity, whose fame has coincided with the tourism boom this winter in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.
In 2012, Jiang became host of the Dream Stage at Harbin Ice and Snow World, which is celebrating its 25th year of operation this year.
His claim to fame, the "Rabbit Dance", marked by its playful left and right foot movements, has captured his followers' hearts with its catchy simplicity and has become a symbol of Harbin's vibrant spirit during this tourism surge.
"In the winter, temperatures can get to as low as — 30 C in Harbin," he said.
"My original intention was to help tourists feel warmer in a world of ice and snow by following our instructions and pace to join the game in an orderly manner."
Yang Qin, one of Jiang's followers on Douyin, was thrilled to hear Jiang's voice at the park during her visit to Harbin.
"Here is the Dream Stage of the Harbin Ice and Snow World, I am Bingcheng Zuoyouge," he announced.
Together with tens of thousands of people, Yang cheered and danced following Jiang's instructions.
"It was my most important task during my trip to the city to see him in person," said Yang, who hails from Chongqing. "I also got the chance to dance with Jiang on stage, which left me with unforgettable memories in Harbin."
In 2017, Jiang began posting some short dance videos on the internet and livestreaming his performances at the park. His humorous style made the videos popular, and by the beginning of 2019, he had amassed 600,000 followers on Douyin.
Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, which forced the 21st Harbin Ice and Snow World to close only 19 days after its opening in 2020, Jiang continued to visit the park and livestream to introduce it to his followers.
"The popularity of Harbin is no accident. Since the beginning of 2023, we have been promoting Heilongjiang in a multidimensional way on new media platforms, establishing numerous destinations dubbed by netizens as mustvisit attractions," He Jing, director of Heilongjiang's culture and tourism department, told China Central Television. "Moreover, we are also paying more attention to comments made on online videos.
"We will do our best to meet tourists' needs," she said. "Some visitors said it would be better if the moon was shining when they took photos at Saint Sophia Cathedral, so we sent a drone to lift an artificial moon over the landmark. Others said it was too cold in Harbin, so we immediately built a number of small prefabricated houses to warm them up.
"All these details can make tourists feel comfortable and respected, and they post news of them on the internet, receiving a warm response," she said.
The local tourism department is also focusing on new media platforms, which play an important role in the development of the tourist industry.
As a Harbin native, ice and snow sports have accompanied Jiang from his childhood.
"My biggest wish is to participate in the 9th Asian Winter Games scheduled for February 2025 in Harbin, becoming a competition DJ to stand on the field of the highest level of competitive winter sports event in Asia," he said.
"Living in the ice city, I'm just like a snowflake flying in the world of ice and snow, and I hope to make more contributions to my hometown."

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