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Daily Drip

Bernie Inauguration Memes Have Made it to China

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As the US, and much of the world, collectively breathed a sigh of relief this week at the inauguration of Joe Biden, a man who was not the incoming (or outgoing) President was getting a ton of online attention from the event. We’re talking, of course, about Bernie.

And as he graced album covers from Kendrick and the Beastie Boys, showed up in The Shining, and popped up in a Hopper painting, it didn’t take long for Senator Sanders to arrive in China, appearing everywhere from street-side chess tables to a conference room with Xi Jinping.

Here are some of our favorite Photoshop jobs:

When Trump visited Beijing in late 2017, he seemed so taken with Tiananmen and the sites that he changed his Twitter profile background to a photo from China. Bernie seems like he’d have been slightly less impressed here.

Maybe that’s because he’s more a man of the people. Gentleman Bernie quietly sitting next to a chess table on a sidewalk feels like a better fit. A bit like the closing scenes of The Queen’s Gambit, public Chinese chess tables are a fixture in certain cities and are usually where retired old men hang out.

Or maybe he would’ve been found at a mahjong table. No 425USD mahjong bullshit for The Bern though.

A couple more of him in Beijing:

Around this time last year, a photo of a man guarding his village during lockdown went viral on Chinese social media. Naturally, there was a meeting of memes here:

Pause and look closer for this one. Who’s that old man selling jianbing behind the window? (Hopefully he’d charge Elon a bit more for one.)

 

Bit of a contrast over in Shanghai, where mittened-up Bernie is mixing with the KOLs and enjoying fancy Italian yummies:

Of course, Bernie can’t complete his tour without visiting Wuhan. Looking indifferent and also resilient, Bernie is seen meditating on the empty Jianghan Lu, Wuhan’s biggest pedestrian shopping street:

Meanwhile, it’s not just Bernie getting a bunch of attention and love from Chinese netizens this week, but also Vice President Kamala Harris. She was recently found to have a “real and not transliterated” Chinese name 贺锦丽, pronounced as He Jinli in Mandarin:

What’s your favorite Bernie meme? Spotted a good one of him in China? Send them our way on Twitter or Instagram.

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.