It was by happenstance that I came across this channel on Youtube and I have never felt so lucky. I was motivated to find out more however, there was nothing on the internet. There were no fancy news articles or marketing/publicity gimmicks or any background information. So, what I am writing here is solely on the basis of my personal experience, analysis and understanding.

I was hit by a wave of mixed feelings after  consuming the kind of content 88rising produces. I couldn’t quite understand why I was feeling this way. ( and, I will explain later.)

What is 88rising about?

It’s a Brooklyn- based digital media outlet  telling the story of contemporary Asian culture. They  feature stories and videos covering social issues like the struggles of mis-representation and under-representation, subcultures, fashion, food, arts & entertainment and more, with a focus on East and South-East Asia, as well as Asian culture globally.  It talks about providing “very rare, Asian goodness daily“.

Their official Facebook mission statement are two simple words:

get Oriented‘.

Simple and yet so profound.

The word ‘orient’ still holds a lot of baggage because of how  Asian cultures have been majorly essentialised. And so, the tag ‘get oriented’ is honestly one of the most positive representations of the same, it’s almost empowering. It has embraced its ‘otherness’ in popular context. Through this,  it has understood how it is preceived thereby giving space for deconstruction of the old and reconstruction of the new in a well versed medium but through different projections.

(Check out their introduction video below)

By involving the hot-shot artists of the Asian realm along with some biggies of the West, what we, the consumers experience is high quality content with the best of both ‘constructed’ worlds. Why constructed? Well, because of the underlying idea of the ‘other’ that cannot be ignored.  This revolutionary platform is going aid in overcoming the ‘otherness’. And make us understand that we ought to view things simply as they are, and not as what we want to see them as. In most Asian cultures, the number 8 symbolizes prosperity, luck, fortune, wealth etc. In Chinese, when two 8’s are used, ’88’ translates to  囍 (shuang xi)  or double joy. No wonder 88rising is double happiness.

As to whether I figured out why I had mixed feelings. I did. It feels great to find some similarity and relatability  with what I choose to consume and lately, I have been making conscious efforts. Before there wasn’t any variety, but now I have a choice.

I would like to conclude this blog by a quote by John Updike from ‘Rabbit, run’-

“If you have the guts to be yourself, other people’ll pay your price.”

88rising

*According to urban dictionary, legit is described as “a modern synonym for words such as “cool, “tight,” or “dope”. It is used to describe a noun that is of a particularly excellent quality. For example, “Damn, who made this beat? DJ Premier? This shit is legit! ” or  “I told you those Bapes weren’t legit. There goes $180 for nothing.” or “Wow! Tommy’s shoes are legit”.

End Notes

Some background readings include:

  1. Khoo, O., 2011. Chinese media studies from an inter-Asian perspective. Media International Australia138(1), pp.128-136.
  2. Sparks, C., 2013. Global media studies: its development and dilemmas. Media, Culture & Society35(1), pp.121-131.
  3. Iwabuchi, K., 2014. De-westernisation, inter-Asian referencing and beyond. European Journal of Cultural Studies17(1), pp.44-57.

I persoanlly recommend the following from 88rising:

For more  content, check out the official Youtube channel-https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZW5lIUz93q_aZIkJPAC0IQ

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