Hainan Designs Cartoon Stickers to Bring Joy in Pandemic Period

By / HICN / Updated: 18:19,20-August-2022

On August 18, the nucleic acid sampling e-sticker function was launched on the Hainan Health Code, providing added convenience to the public.

Once NAT samples have been taken and sampling data has been uploaded via the sampling point/institution, a NAT e-sticker showing one randomly selected image of "Bobo Coconut" will appear on both the Hainan Health Code and Location Code pages. The e-sticker is valid for the day, providing proof that a NAT sample was taken.

In following rounds of NAT sampling, the system will display new stickers. If the e-sticker doesn't appear immediately, don't worry! You may need to wait a little while longer for the NAT sampling point/institution to upload the nucleic acid sampling data. You can also try closing the Hainan Health Code applet then open it up again.

Screenshots of health codes displaying the new e-stickers. Photo by NEW HAINAN APP.

The image of Bobo Coconut is that of a growing coconut seedling. As the mascot of Hainan tourism culture international image promotion, Bobo Coconut has many fans among the public.

The Lei Gong Ma cartoons have also attracted much attention since being added to stickers since the seventh round of nucleic acid testing on August 14.

Stickers showing Lei Gong Ma cartoons. Photo by NEW HAINAN APP.

Why were the Lei Gong Ma cartoon stickers designedOn the afternoon of August 18, Zhuang Hai, deputy director of the Haikou Tourism and Culture Bureau, responded to precisely this question. Zhuang Hai said that the stickers prove that people have completed NAT sampling. 

The main purpose of the design is to show the common spirit of optimism and peace among Haikou's residents and bring a sense of occasion to the people of Haikou as they actively fight the pandemic. The optimistic, positive, and peaceful spirit represented by Lei Gong Ma has gained collective recognition and interaction.

Lei Gong Ma cartoon pattern stickers.Source: the Wechat official account of Building Sir

The rise of Lei Gong Ma originated from the public opinion crisis caused by the current outbreak. A few inappropriate comments on social media by some tourists stranded in Hainan due to the outbreak ("Hainan people are poor and perhaps a little primitive.", "Without us (tourists), Hainan people would still be up in the mountains cutting trees") aroused dissatisfaction among a majority of Hainan people.

Faced with unfriendly and unfathomable remarks, Hainanese people responded with self-deprecating jokes. Some elaborated on the "up mountains cutting trees" line: Not only did we have to go up the mountains to cut trees, we rode the oldest and most outdated Lei Gong Ma electric bike to get there.

Jialing CJ50 electric bicycle. Source: the Wechat official account of Building Sir

Chameleon tree lizard Lei Gong Ma. Source: Social media.

'Lei Gong Ma' originally referred to the Jialing CJ50 electric bicycle which was very popular in Hainan during the 1990s. Due to its red head and body, which resembled the local chameleon tree lizards Lei Gong Ma, the electric bike was soon nicknamed 'Lei Gong Ma'. Hainan people did indeed ride them into the forests to cut down trees.

Photo provided by WU KAIQING, an illustrator from Chengmai.

Photo provided by WU KAIQING, an illustrator from Chengmai.

Thus, various cartoon memes of people riding Lei Gong Ma (chameleon tree lizard) to do nucleic acid testing have emerged. Among them, the most influential are the works of Wu Kaiqing, an illustrator from Chengmai. He depicted the Lei Gong Ma as a sunny and cheerful humanoid lizard in flip-flops and shorts, and in various scenarios such as carrying doctors, opening its mouth to do a nucleic acid test, and fighting the virus.

Photo provided by HAPPY ISLAND.

 Source: the Wechat official account of Building Sir

The previous six NAT sampling stickers in Haikou, according to reports, have shown images of historical culture, natural beauty, and commercial landmarks in Haikou's four districts, even providing a sneak preview of upcoming new landmarks that will soon grace Haikou's skyline.

Among this set of stickers, three employed a jigsaw puzzle approach. Each individual stickers looks like a shield, and represents a firm belief in anti-pandemic prevention. When pieced together, however, these three stickers show the shape of the Bougainvillea, Haikou's city flower. 

These three stickers also have 'Ya', 'Nuo' and 'Da' printed on them, which is Hainanese for 'One', 'Two' and 'Three' respectively.

Stickers collected by citizens. Photo by NEW HAINAN APP.

"As we can see, each nucleic acid sticker has become a souvenir for both Haikou citizens and tourists to remind them of the time when they fought the epidemic together. We hope these souvenirs will be collected and kept safe and be brought up often in conversation, so that the memories of these times will not be forgotten," Zhuang Hai concluded.

A child 'riding' Lei Gong Ma in Hainan. Source: the Wechat official account of Building Sir

Source: the Wechat official account of Building Sir

Information Sources: New Hainan App, Randy Floyd of HIBC.

Picture sources: New Hainan APP, The Wechat official account of Building Sir(楼sir 微信公众号), HAPPY ISLAND, WU KAIQING - an illustrator from Chengmai, Social media.



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