Photos of university students at a college in Sichuan giving offerings of fruit and incense to a shrine in honor of pop star Li Yuchun have spread like wildfire online recently. College students praying to a pop star to bless them with high examination scores? Many netizens and TV talk-show hosts were incredulous.
The Tianfu Morning Paper went to investigate. From Chengdu QQ (our translation):
[There's] a huge poster of Li Yuchun on the wall, and on both sides adding red banners written upon which were the words are "Believe in God Chun, bring me good luck in my studies." In front of it all is a small rectangular table covered in red cloth, upon which is laid out burning incense and fruit. And in front of all that, a few faithful Chun "believers" are bowing and kneeling, with long sticks of incense burning in their hands.
In order to verify the story, a reporter went to the university in the Jiang'an District and found this legendary dormitory on second floor of one of the student buildings. There was indeed a really large poster of Li Yuchun hanging on the wall. And those conspicuous red banners were hung on its sides. And the incense on the table. The whole scene was absurd, at once solemn and comical.
The reporter found Xiao Ma. Xiao Ma is a physics major and said that this whole setup was for last week's "Dormitory Culture Week." When he heard of the event, he had a divine inspiration: The Chun God is so powerful, why not make an offering?
Xiao Ma consulted with his classmates and decided to execute the plan immediately. Thereupon they divided the labor: Buy the incense holder, candles, and incense, go to the poster shop and get a custom 1 meter by 1.2 meter poster of Li Yuchun printed. It wasn't long before everything was ready and put into place, the incense lit, and three bows made, a grand ceremony. The "post-90s" Xiao Ma was also sure to proudly point out to the reporter that this idea is completely original, that there is no other setup like it in the entire country.
"He was my classmate at the Jingyang Nanshan Middle School. At that time he was a class clown, he always loved a prank." Xiao Ma's high-school classmate He Limin said that after he started university, Xiao Ma earned the sixth place in the nationwide English speaking competition for the Sichuan round. "Xiao Ma likes to go online, and he thinks a lot, some odd or funny idea is always coming out of his brain that makes people laugh," said Xiao Ma's classmate Xiao Liu (pseudonym).
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