Peppa Pig has not always had an easy ride in China. The giggling piglet is beloved by children here, as she is around the world, but became bizarrely associated with gangster culture, and was at one point reported to have been banned.
However, a smartly judged promotional video, arriving just in time for the Year of the Pig, has won hearts and brought Peppa back into favor. The video is called 啥是佩奇 (shá shì pèi qí), What is Peiqi? This is the question asked by a baffled rural grandfather, when he is trying to find out what his grandson wants as a New Year gift. He asks around his village, amid scenes of traditional country life which have struck a chord with city dwellers as their minds turn to heading home for Chunjie.
At last he works out the answer: “Peiqi” is Peppa Pig. And when his son and family arrive back, he presents his awestruck grandson with a homemade Peppa welded together from scrap iron. The video ends with dancing, laughter, and New Year celebrations.
It’s a timely reminder that the family values espoused by the cartoon are not too far from those encouraged by the Chinese government. And with Peppa Pig theme parks opening in Beijing and Shanghai this year, the widely-shared video should help ensure that Britain’s favorite piglet is welcome in China once more.
Photo: Screenshot from http://n.miaopai.com/media/BzwZ1O-phvQtoSpEfuWx-7v0stXdOlfB.htm