It’s a phenomenon you may have observed ““ a bunch of Asians strike up a conversation about popular music and huddle around a computer to watch a Chinese/Korean/Japanese/etc music video that they’ve illegally downloaded. Three minutes later, all the girls are crying (plus maybe that one guy who’s trying to prove that he’s got a sensitive side to that girl he has a crush on).
It probably doesn’t seem that strange initially ““ girls all around the world tune into sad movies for a good cry; Asians appreciate a song, film, or book that can touch them emotionally just like anyone else. Then they’ll watch a few more and eventually realize that the female love interest has a zero percent chance of survival. It’s usually a crappy driver that get’s her, but however it ends, you know that the moment the boy and girl make eye contact, she’s doomed.
You see, Asians don’t just want touching, tragic love stories in their movies, books, and television series, they want them in their music videos too ““ rather than naked girls and drugs (you could chalk it up to conservative culture and/or iron censorship). The plot line is typically about as diverse as a Michael Bay film ““ boy meets girl, boy and girl falls in love, girl gets hit by car/suffers debilitating accident/has brain aneurism/etc. And the music videos for the ultimate chart toppers are mostly like this ““ Asians really love these relentlessly sad videos.
Here are some examples, loosely in order of how many Kleenexes you’ll need by the end.
Falling Leaf Returns to Roots, by Wang Lee Hom:
Mouse Loves Rice, by Yan Cheng Gang, performed by Xiang Xiang
Because I’m a Girl, by KISS
Tong Hua [Fairytale], by Guang Liang
You ok there? *sniffle* “¦Uh, something in my eye.
So what does this all mean? I think the idealists among us would say that it indicates the strong belief in love, sacrifice, fate, and destiny amongst Asians. A happily-ever-after ending is nice, but in all of these never-meant-to-be stories is the idea of a love so pure that it transcends everyday life and lives on in memory, and not even death can stop it.
What would the cynics say? They’d probably just ask, ‘why didn’t the guy in “˜Because I’m a Girl’ just donate one eye instead of both?”
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