Giant on the move
Just who is “Second Brother on the Right”?
His picture is all over Chinese Web sites and media. He has multiple proposals of marriage. And he became an overnight nationalist hero. But just who is China’s anonymous “Second Brother on the Right”?
The young man with classic good looks guarded the Olympic flame during its protest-ridden passage round the world. His prominent position (always standing second to the right of the flame) wrestling demonstrators and standing proudly next to the torch has brought him fame across China.
“He is so hot and he is the pride of China! What more could a girl want?” wrote one female fan.
Second Brother’s popularity has tapped into two cultural under-currents in China — anger among many that foreign protests, mainly in favour of Tibetan independence, have tarnished their Olympics; and weariness with quickly-manufactured domestic pop and TV stars.
By contrast, Second Brother’s embodiment of classic values is compared by fans to Lei Feng, an idolised soldier of the Mao Zedong era. Chinese guess Second Brother must be a policeman or soldier, but his real identity is a closely-guarded secret.
That’s a shame for those queuing up to offer him homage and gifts, plus his many would-be wives.
PHOTO: A Beijing Olympic torch relay guard known as “Second Brother on the Right” poses for a photo on an airplane from Sanya to Beijing, May 4, 2008. Picture taken May 4, 2008. REUTERS/China Daily