Touching sheep buttocks: New stress buster for China's youth

Zhang Yong, a psychologist at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, in central China, highlighted the possible reason for the weirdly peculiar trend.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 05:18 IST

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The youth in China in the recent past have grown fond of sheep's buttocks to relieve stress.

A report in The South China Morning Post said that youngsters are also sharing their experiences on social media while suggesting others to do the same.

According to the Chinese media house, markets in northwest China's Xinjiang province saw several tourists in June who arrived here to touch the buttocks of flocks of sheep awaited in rows to be traded.

Zhang Yong, a psychologist at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in central China highlighted what could be the possible reason for the weirdly peculiar trend. “Young people are trying to break free from the constraints of daily life through unconventional means,” he said adding, “However, blindly following trends is not advisable. This behaviour reveals a lack of respect for animals and people should pursue other reasonable forms of entertainment.”

Whatsoever, the young crowd in China has a different take on their newly developed interest. A tourist shared on Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu that the animals’ rumps feel bouncy and soft, and claimed that touching them is “incredibly addictive”.

“I flew five hours to Xinjiang just to pat sheep buttocks because this experience is impossible to have in a busy city,” a netizen said.

The Chinese social media site also saw people sharing tales of guides in these markets who speak on shepherds’ hospitality, the sheep breeds for a better touching sensation, optimal patting angles and intensity levels.

Another netizen identified by the Chinese media house as @yuyuan shared that it is the "silent consent of sheep" which brings joy to humans.

A next user said that there are too many visitors coming to these markets to experience what is being propagated online. “Too many people touching the rear ends of sheep can trigger depression in the animals. People do not care about them, they only care about themselves,” the individual said.

“We just lightly pat the sheep’s buttocks without causing harm to the animals, and the shepherds are agreeable. It’s an interesting way to relax,” said another.

However, a few also shared their experiences of falling ill after following the trend. A social media user identified as one @xiaomarichang shared on Xiaohongshu a photo of herself touching sheep and later reported having diarrhoea and vomiting.

Referring to the state of the speechless animals, a user said, “I feel sorry for these sheep. If they could speak, they might feel harassed,” while another wrote: “I hope local shepherds can implement rules, such as limiting the number of people touching the sheep every day, so they will not get too tired.”

Published 02 July 2024, 05:18 IST

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