Many Chinese are proud of their country's arrival into the very exclusive club of countries with aircraft carriers, which happened over the weekend with the successful landing of its new J-15 fighter jet on the deck of the Liaoning. And many of them are celebrating by striking a pose that recalls America's "Tebowing" phenomenon, started by football player Tim Tebow.
As Chinese media covered the flight tests, images of the carrier's deck crew giving the go-ahead signal for takeoff were plastered across television sets nationally.
It wasn't long before Weibo users took notice and began posting pictures of their own versions of the "Aircraft Carrier-Style" pose, named after the Korean hit song "Gangnam Style."
The original post on Weibo -- China's version of Twitter -- has been reposted more than 25,000 times.
The original gesture involves stepping forward on a bent knee while pointing with two fingers in the direction of the plane. The common gesture among flight crew has taken on a wider meaning and cultural significance as adults and children snap pictures of themselves, often with the Chinese characters for "take-off" embellished on their backs and with makeshift flight gear, and share them on social media. Social media has a habit of spreading poses like the Aircraft Carrier-Style. Planking -- when a person lies flat on top of another object -- is another viral sensation that reached international fame. The planking website categorizes its photos according to international regions.NFL quarterback Tim Tebow's touchdown prayer pose became a similar viral sensation in the U.S. An aggregation of the most unique places people have struck the pose is kept up to date on a website.China's 250 million Weibo users are sometimes hushed during large national developments, like China's recent leadership change. Recently, China's social media has developed a reputation for being a platform for political critics to express disapproval of what the government is doing, or not doing, about China's various looming problems. But the carrier flight tests were a different story.
"Although the gesture has often been seen in movies, I couldn't restrain my excitement the first time I saw it used to instruct a fighter jet to land and take off from China's first aircraft carrier," said one social media user, Han Lu, to China Daily. China's netizens are showing they still have something positive to post about.