Many Internet users are posting the objects of their desire on the back of a toy horse in a new trend as the Chinese Year of the Horse approaches.
The trend is a play on words. In Chinese, something on horseback is called ma shang, but it also means to get something immediately. Pictures of toy ponies with bank notes stacked on back are common. The phrase ma shang you qian conjures up the image of immediate riches.
The trend has been most popular on Weibo and Wechat.
Others put images of a wedding dress on a toy horse to express their wish to get married as soon as possible.
In another variation, some have posted pictures of a pet dog on a horse. The Chinese pronunciation is the same as “power on a merry-go-round” and these users are wishing for a better career future.
To vent their dissatisfaction with the lack of holidays, some have stuck a little cross called a jia, which means holiday, on a horse-shaped key chain.
Others want it all. They have drawn an eggplant, a homophone for “everything” in Chinese, on horseback because they want all their dreams to come true immediately.
However, some microbloggers said the desire for material things reflects a feeling of insecurity as housing prices skyrocket and there are calls to delay retirement.
Wu Xiaowei, an office worker, told Information Times: “Many people have become slaves to acquire a house, car and other possessions. When we feel down about life we say, ‘ma shang you qian’ and feel a bit better.”