China has this millennial thing called sang culture & it’s worse than our sian half

China has this millennial thing called sang culture & it’s worse than our sian half

Mothership.SG·2018-06-17 09:05

I’m a Singaporean Millennial and I’m offended by your assumption that I know the “sang culture”. TF is “sang culture”? As in past tense of “sing”?

Dear Millennial friend, though the Chinese love their singing contests, “sang” here is not the past tense of “sing”.

Here’s a trendy yet handy Instagram post to explain sang culture.

#artprofile #artproject #youthsubculture #丧 #design

A post shared by Salyu (@salyu_wang) on Nov 16, 2017 at 8:57pm PST

It is derived from the character 丧 (sang), which has various morbid meanings like funeral, mourning or lose.

The sang culture, however, is not so negative, as illustrated in the Instagram post.

At its worst, it simply means dejected or dispirited.

But if you look at it with rose-tinted glasses, it’s a form of Chinese black humor: A self-deprecating take on the new Chinese way of life and staring it down with a middle finger not far away.

The new Chinese way of life?

Yes, my Millennial friend. Sang culture happened because of the new China, which is probably hurtling to a worse place than Singapore.

The rat race, rent that costs more than half of a monthly salary, declining monthly salaries due to competition, demanding parents, getting married before 30 and so on.

Heck, have a listen to this for a TL;DR.

And thus, the sang culture is an unlikely antidote or bubble tea to numb the pain; to say it’s fine to be a loser once in a while.

Bubble tea? Last warning.

We are not kidding.

在武汉倒是吃了不少当地小吃,虽然吃的都是老字号什么的,但着实不对我胃口… #丧茶 #丧 #你并不是一无所有你还有病乌龙茶 #乌龙茶 #烧梅 就是#烧麦 里面加香菇不说居然加黑胡椒??? #豆皮 三鲜味的居然还是有香菇… #热干面 吃完之后才发现有原味的,早知道就不要辣的要死的牛肉的了 #耕喜 的#水果茶 是出来这十天喝的最好喝的,好喝到上瘾的那种 最后我终于明白,南方除了沿海城市,都很能吃辣…非常…不对我胃口… #food #delicious

A post shared by @9_wang_5 on Mar 15, 2018 at 3:09am PDT

真的有#丧茶 😂

A post shared by Timberbin (@timberbin) on Jun 2, 2018 at 5:26pm PDT

How about a Can’t-Afford-To-Buy-A-House Iced Lemon Tea? Or My Ex-Girlfriend’s Marrying Someone With Rich Parents Fruit Juice?

Sung Tea started last year in Shanghai but quickly expanded to different parts of China because young Chinese have a good, functioning sense of humour. And probably because bubble tea is so Asian.

It was so successful that state media People’s Daily accused Sung Tea for peddling “mental opium”, whatever that means. According to Reuters, The editorial piece further described Sang culture as “an extreme, pessimistic and hopeless attitude that’s worth our concern and discussion”.

But think about it, isn’t this beautiful? Capitalism sprouting out all over a former Communist (or it has stopped behaving like one) country.

You know what’s more beautiful? Drinking said beverages while browsing uniquely Chinese memes.

Memes… I’m sure sang culture is entrenched in memes. Just like ours.

Learning fast, my friend.

Actually, this is probably the first meme of sang culture.

Dude’s name is Ge You, a Chinese actor who captured the attention with the Ge You Lie. He played a con man who refused to leave the sofa, perfectly encapsulating the spirit of success-can-wait-I-need-to-lie-down-and-veg.

What the heck. He looks a lot like…

Yes, he looks like Gudetama, the most unmotivated egg ever who has no desire to live.

And yes, the Chinese Millennials love Gudetama too. They also get their daily dose of self-deprecation from Bojack Horseman.

Reading all these made me sian half.

That’s because sang culture is more sian than sian half. Just saying.

Top photo via


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