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Netizens put their wishes on horseback for new year

A linguistically driven Internet fad has arisen with the approach of the Chinese Year of the Horse, as users post the objects of their desire on the back of a toy steed.

In Chinese, something on horseback is called “ma shang” — but the word has another meaning, which is to get something immediately.

Pictures of toy ponies stacked with bank notes are common. Saying the money’s on horseback conjures an image of immediate riches.

Thousands of users on twitter-like Weibo have been indulging in the wish frenzy.

Some put images of beauty or a wedding dress on horse dolls to express their hopes to marry as soon as possible.

In one variation, some put a pet dog, the Chinese pronunciation of which is the same as “power,” on a merry-go-round as a wish for a better career future.

Some want it all: They draw an eggplant on horseback because eggplant is the homophone of “everything” in Chinese. They want all their dreams to come true immediately.

However, some microbloggers said the urgent wishes for material things reflect a feeling of being unsafe and unsatisfied in today’s society, as housing prices skyrocket, there are calls for delaying retirement and some girls are willing to marry only rich men.


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