Chinese music group releases touching song against current fears and discrimination over coronavirus

From YouTube ǀ 音阙诗听

A music group from China has released a touching song against the current fears and discrimination suffered by the Chinese community due to the coronavirus.

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Following the appearance and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around November 2019, Chinese citizens outside of China have been facing an increase in fear and discrimination. The fear mostly comes from misunderstandings or pre-conceived ideas, with people believing this virus, which was first seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is spread by Chinese citizens, prompting some media and people to push for restrictions against Chinese nationals.

Thanks to the drastic measures imposed by the Chinese government, the country is now entering a period of calm after the storm, seeing a decrease in total new confirmed cases compared to the previous weeks, but still standing at nearly 80K cases and nearly 3K deaths. Meanwhile, other countries are now facing a quick spread of the virus, such as South-Korea, Italy or the United States, with the later one being initially highly critical of China’s response and now failing to even address the issue.

During these past weeks, various people, either from China or with Chinese origins, have held various actions, with all of these actions having a similar message: “I’m not a virus”, or “I’m not a virus, I’m a human”. It is in this spirit that a Chinese music group/team, “interestingcn” (音阙诗听) has released a touching song talking about this subject, and asking for compassion and not discrimination, as well as for us to work together to fight against this outbreak, in order for us to overcome this challenge:

While for most of us “音阙诗听” is an unknown group, this one seems to enjoy some popularity in their country, with their concept being quite original: creating music by combining both modern and popular music elements with traditional Chinese instruments and culture. Surprisingly, this works quite well, with their most popular title being “Grain in Ear” (芒种), a reference to the 24 solar terms from the traditional Chinese calendar:

The group of musicians appears to be doing a song for each one of the terms, with all 24 of them covered, with each having its own beautiful song.

Coming back to the original theme of this article, many joke, or even believe, that the name given to the virus, “COVID-19”, stands for “Chinese virus” or “China Originated Virus”, while in reality it stands for “Coronavirus Disease 2019”. At one point in the song, the band mentions that “你好” [nĭ hăo/“Hello” in Chinese] is being treated as an insult, which, at least for us, having heard nĭ hăo dozens of times in the past, is rather saddening, especially when one considers how well known this word is in the West. But not all Chinese are taking the situation negatively. Some are using this caution and fear to their advantage, joking about it, such as with “Cough on him”, implying indirectly that whoever they cough on will be getting infected with the coronavirus. Of course, this remains a minority and is, as mentioned, a joke.

Ultimately, the lack of understanding and the recent increase in Sinophobia, fuelled by many questionable news outlets, is unjustifiable, as the only way for us to resolve this situation is by working together. Of course, while we are talking about a lack of understanding, there’s no doubt the Chinese authorities and citizens responded in questionable ways to some events taking place in our continent, such as when a Danish newspaper used a cartoon which replaced the stars in the Chinese flag with viruses to illustrate an article on the subject, but that matter appears to have been settled and forgotten.

Update: in the original article, we claimed that only 15 out of the 24 solar terms had been covered. In reality, the 24 terms have each their own dedicated song, but uploaded on a different channel. We’ve linked a playlist having all 24 songs. We apologize for any misunderstanding caused.

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