New Chinese Greeting

Still from the video “Corona Welcome-Dance” (Matze Knop)

Table tennis friends shared this video on social media

I enjoyed this version at once and showed it Barbara. She said, no wonder that I was pleased, because it is based on the “Chicken Dance” or “Birdie Song”, in Germany known as “Ententanz”. Besides, it is Switzerland’s biggest party-hit, composed by Werner Thomas in 1957, followed by the particular dance in 1963. To develop the dance-figures Thomas drew inspiration from his 130 ducks and 25 geese.
Matze Knop adjusted the "Chicken Dance" as follows : 1) Spray sanitizer on your hands 2) Rub your hands together until they feel dry 3) Flap your wings 4) Ellbow touches ellbow, right, left 5) Feet touching inside, right, left (Kick) 6) Hips touching, right, left, and repeat 2-6 as often you like.

During a discussion with friends on Corona restrictions, we performed this modern way of greeting. Instead of touching the feet, Barbara deliberately kicked my shinbone, so that I went down on my knees a bit due to surprise. A burst of laughter motivated me to create a picture about that scene. I only had to find an appropriate story with the simple title "New Chinese Greeting": The Prince of Wuhan was sent on a secret goodwill-mission to Europe to begin with the Vatican. But from that private audience with Pope Francis a snapshot was leaked to the press, showing the Pope’s willingness to practice a new greeting ritual. Media interpreted it as first step of Europe to accept the Chinese excuse of having caused so much trouble by the Coronavirus. Well disguised was the fact, that the Prince really kicked the Pope’s right shinbone and perhaps the other one as well. Pope Francis did not reveal this to the press because of his noted humility. But the photographer thought about the possible reason for that mischievous attack by the guest of the “land of smile”. The Prince might have been taking his revenge for the ongoing discrimination of Chinese people called “yellow peril” and signs of “No Chinese”. The recent conspiracy theory about deliberately launching the virus in Wuhan adds to the common resentments.

Our photoshoot took place on 23 May and was based on that story. Due to a close-up image of the dangerous Coronavirus, I decided to use a red background. It may indicate the interior of the papal audience room as well. The casting went very easy. Barbara plays the Chinese Prince, dressed in a blue jacket with traditional patterns and black trousers. The red hat with a black tail comes from the Near East. I tried to give Pope Francis and was dressed entirely in white, but without shoes, just to show his harmless humility and mercy.
And what a coincidence, just on the next day, 24 May, the Pope expressed his hope for further initiatives to build a "common future of greater harmony" between Europe and China. However, this "New Chinese Greeting" accompanied by the Swiss hit, is now conquering the hearts all over the globe.