Senior Chinese officials may have pulled out of border talks with India in Delhi this week, but back home a group of Sikh warriors has been taking the Middle Kingdom by storm.
A seven minute clip of some bare-chested Punjabis performing extreme stunts to the sound of Bollywood beats has gone viral on the Chinese internet, where it has ratcheted up over 3.5 million views since it was first posted last Tuesday.
Taken from an Indian television talent show, the clip shows the bearded men chewing on what appear to be fluorescent lighting tubes and smashing bricks against one another.
One chap goes the extra mile by being run over simultaneously by both a car and a motorcycle. Did we mention the vehicles trample over his head?
And then the finale: three fighters lying on top of one another in a bed-of-nails sandwich then create a platform from which to wave the Indian flag.
Bloodied but unbowed by their sterling efforts, the troop then concludes its performance, presumably heading backstage for a calming cup of tea.
Sino-Indian relations are rarely warm but the video – the first from India to go viral in China – has at least made netizens chuckle.
“After watching the Indian talent show, I lost all interest in the talent shows in China,” one netizen said on his weibo account this week.
Despite sharing a 3,225 kilometre border – much of it disputed – the respective populations of the two Asian giants know relatively little about one other.
While some in India marvel at Chinese growth rates and infrastructure spending, they are also wary of Beijing’s increasing global influence.
Chinese citizens often dismiss India as being dirty, poor and backwards.
And although Punjab is one of India’s wealthier states, many Chinese were soon speculating that the Sikhs may have been performing out financial desperation.
Others quipped it was more likely that the spicy cuisine had stirred such strange behaviour.
“Fiery food makes for fiery deeds,” a contributor warned on video sharing site Youku.
But some also joked that the clip might have been produced by the Indian military in order to unnerve the People’s Liberation Army should current disagreements escalate into something more serious.
Last week a high-level Chinese delegation withdrew from border talks in Delhi. And in October the two governments clashed over an oil project in the South China Sea which China claims as its own but India believes should belong to Vietnam.
“The message of this clip is very clear,” another netizen announced. “Do not to go to war with the Indians, they are breeding Spartans.”
Click here to watch the clip.
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