Tik Tok – no it’s not the sound the clock makes, or the bop of a pop song by Ke$ha, it’s the English name of new Chinese short video app – known as Dou Yin in Chinese and it is blowing up! Since its launch in September 2016, the app has achieved a meteoric rise in popularity, reaching an astonishing 66 million users. MCX PR Executive Alice Liu looks at what you need to know about Dou Yin (抖音– literally shaking voice)
Where are they going? What are they doing? What do they want? How are things changing? Questions asked (and answered!) by MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager, Katrina Hall
Chinese are travelling further, wider, and more frequently than ever and, as the Chinese chengyu poetry idiom goes – The four seas are their home (四海为家 sì hǎi wéi jiā). A quick look at some statistics around the rise and rise of the Chinese traveller crystalises this truth even further. China is now undoubtedly a leading nation when it comes to traveling.
Ramadan 2018 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, 15 May and end in the evening of Thursday, 14 June 2018. In this MultiConnexions blog, PR & Social Media Manager Katrina recalls some cultural retail marketing she saw done extremely well in the globally recognised shopping haven – Dubai.
I remember when I first moved to Dubai to live around 10 years ago. It was just before the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the weather was steamy and hot. Eager to make a good impression and win some friends in my new home, I realised I needed to do some cramming about this most significant event on the Islamic calendar.
Many of us already know very well that culture and cultural identity impact how we think, feel, behave, make friends and conduct business.
We know culture impacts what we eat, wear, how we spend our time and money and more.
We also know that cultural insights are critical and crucial to effective multicultural marketing.
With Greek Easter coming up very soon (the Orthodox date this year falling on Sunday, 8 April, a week after Catholic Easter), what better time to shine the spotlight on Australia’s Greek population.
Kaló Páscha everyone! (Happy Easter!)
Greeks in Australia – at a glance
Happy Holi everyone!
With an estimated 440 million Indian millennials in India, a staggering 468,800 born in India residing in Australia (and many, many more by ancestry!) and more than 150 million Indians logged into Facebook at least once a month, the Indian diaspora is certainly a highly attractive target market.
Traditionally a Hindu festival, but now fast becoming popular with all cultures all around the world, Holi is one of the most colourful, vibrant and fun-filled festivals originating from the Indian sub-continent.
Holi is a celebration of the start of Spring in India as well as the triumph of good over evil – a very positive message that we can all get behind! It is best known for the colourful powders, dyes and coloured water that Holi revellers throw at each other, leaving everyone coated in a veritable rainbow of bright colours by the end of celebration. Holi festival is seen as a fun and positive celebration for families, friends and all.
This year, Holi falls on the 1st of March.
MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager, Katrina Hall looks at the fun-filled festival, and wishes all a Happy Holi filled with the colours of joy and happiness.
1. What is Holi?
The Holi Festival of Colours (also called Holi, Holika and Phagwa) is celebrated the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March). It is a day to mark spring, honour some events regarding Prahlada in the Hindu faith, and a time to disregard propriety and social norms and have a bit of fun!
2. When is Holi this year?
This year, the festival will likely be falling on Friday the 2nd of March, 2018.
3. What is the story behind the festival?
The story goes that Lord Brahma granted the haughty Demon King Hiranyakashipu virtual invincibility – and with his new powers, Hiranyakashipu arrogantly proclaimed himself a God. However, his son took issue with this and rebelled against him – thus enraging Hiranyakashipu who immediately ordered his son to be killed.
Many attempts were made in vain to carry out the murder. In desperation, Hiranyakashipu ordered Prahlada to be burned on a pyre along with his sister Holika, little knowing that Holika had been given immunity from fire by Lord Brahma.
Flames began to lick Prahlada and Holika – but the devout Prahlada prayed to Lord Vishnu to save him from the burning flames and, hearing the prayers, Lord Vishnu granted him mercy, while the fire consumed Holika. Alas, Holika did not know that her immunity worked only when she entered the fire alone!
Prahlada felt sorry for Holika and named Holi festival after her. Today, this story represents the end of pride and the day after the Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.
4. Who celebrates Holi?
Holi is widely celebrated in India, Australia and around the world by Hindus, Sikhs, some Jains, Newar Buddhists and other non-Hindus. Indians, and many other new audiences, are deeply rooted in their culture and this is a special time for them.
5. How do people celebrate Holi?
On the eve of Holi, a pyre is lit for Holika. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire to sing and dance and may offer raw coconut and corn to the fire. The next morning, fun begins again in earnest with something akin to a high-stakes water-fight! Friends, family and strangers alike throw coloured powder, coloured water and coloured paint/ dye around in an atmosphere of frivolity and humour. The end results are a riot of colour and a truly unforgettable spectacle.
As one Holi festival attendee put it last year, “When we’re covered in colours, our differences no longer matter.”
6. Are there any traditional foods, clothes, or symbols on the day?
Holi is all about colour, so it’s probably best to wear clothes you don’t mind getting ruined! Aside from that, sweet dumplings (dahi vada), a condensed milk slice (barfi) and fried fritters (pakora) are popular Holi treats. Obviously, visiting family and friends is a very important part of Holi.
7. What happened on Holi last year around the world?
Utah is home to the largest Holi festival in the world outside of India. Australia, the UK and many countries also host amazing celebrations – both organised and informally. Holi has also inspired some fantastic celebrations around the world, including Florida’s Life in Color, the Netherlands’ Mumbai Color Festival, Holi One in South Africa, and Colorjam Music Festival in Texas among many others.
8. What can we expect this year?
This year Holi certainly promises to be bigger and better than ever, as more and more people are beginning to celebrate.
9. Is Holi marked in Australia? What events are there this year?
Australia’s South Asian community marks Holi in style, with a series of fun activities around the country – focussing particularly on Sydney and Melbourne, where most of our Indian diaspora reside. Celebrations around the country include Blacktown Holi Mela, Keysborough Holi Mela, Holi Mahotsav in Darling Harbour Sydney, Rockdale Colour Festival, Holi Mela Parramatta, Melbourne Holi Festival St Kilda, Wyndham Holi and Springfield Holi Festival in Brisbane to name but a small sample.
Such events are increasingly attracting the attention of major Australian brands looking to harness the goodwill during Holi, and target messages to the crowds of attendees via goodwill initiatives.
10. What is the marketing opportunity during Holi?
In addition to the above mentioned festival/ sponsorship marketing opportunities – for many brands there are many other terrific marketing opportunities to be tapped into during this period.
For example, during Holi many Indians choose to give their home a thorough spring-cleaning – often redecorating and disposing of old items. This means a great marketing opportunity for the retail sector with additional sales generated of household goods, clothing and more. It is a time when many Indians look at property investments and even changing their homes for a larger and better one.
Holi is also a wonderful time for marketers to integrate festive greetings into advertisements and marketing initiatives to capture the attention of enthusiastic people celebrating Holi.
Lunar New Year – it’s the most special time of year for the estimated 1.5 billion people that celebrate it. And this year, marketers worldwide have rolled out some top-notch marketing initiatives to tap into the increased spending, goodwill and opportunities during this time.
About 17 years ago, I became one of 123,000 Filipino migrants to arrive in Australia in the year 2000. A father, a heavily pregnant mother and a child of just two or three landed on a plane with curious eyes and expectant hearts, looking to start a new life.
The change in scenery was quite drastic. Immediately, we shifted from the views of congested traffic, exotic food markets, jeepneys, and children running around in shorts and singlets to clean streets, smartly dressed people and sky-high buildings.
Although I was too young to realise this sudden change, my parents were indeed in culture shock as first generation Filipinos. To this day, I cannot place my finger on what I miss the most about my original home – whether it’s the warm smile of my grandmother, seeing my Mum paint in our upstairs room, watching my late grandfather cook, or the occasional middle-aged man roaming the streets screaming “TAHO!!!”, where I would eagerly run to the door ready to buy. (It’s a sweet Filipino dessert by the way).
One thing is for sure – whilst my stay in the Philippines was cut short, I never strayed too far from my roots, or my humble beginnings. My Mum and Dad, although working late night shifts and barely getting sleep, raised my sister and I with a very Filipino upbringing. We always ate dishes that many of my friends at school had never heard of before. Pictured below are some of my favourites.
Family is family
I remember my Mum telling me why she never became a doctor. She had the grades to be a doctor, she was on the Dean’s list at university, and even some of our family members were doctors. Yet, when I asked her why she didn’t want to she simply replied, “I wanted to spend time with my family.” My Mum was willing to forgo earning more, as she knew it would detract time from being with her family.
In the Philippines, we are very family-oriented. We won’t give up family for anything, even if it means sacrificing earnings. My Mum is happily working at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a senior role, which provides her with the flexibility to spend time with us on weekends and after work.
Know the value of hard work
When we first arrived in Australia, I remember one day I woke earlier than usual to see my Dad preparing to leave the house. Back then, we were living at my Aunt’s house before we could find our own home. Dad left at approximately 4am, every day. The image of him leaving in his car through the window with barely any sun in the sky is an image that I’ve taken with me for more than a decade. To this day, I haven’t forgotten it, and I make sure it is embedded in my work ethic and my passion.
If you have ever visited a Filipino family home you may be familiar with the traditional Filipino greeting: “Hi, how are you? Have you eaten yet?” The first thing a Filipino asks after greeting is whether you’ve eaten. If you say no, they’ll offer anything that is in the kitchen. Hospitability is central to the Filipino culture. We love to make people feel welcomed and comfortable in our homes. It is also imperative to keep the house clean and presentable if anyone is to visit.
Culture is something to be proud of and holds an eternal grip on our identities. With Filipinos being one of the top three migrants to Australia in 2017, I am glad to see that the Australian landscape is buzzing and oozing with culture. There is always something to learn from the people around you. And, there is always something that will stay a part of you, no matter where you go.
This blog was written by Andrea Virrey, a proud Filipino-Australian and passionate multicultural marketing intern at MultiConnexions.