Tamdrin, a 20-year-old Tibetan man who became an internet sensation for his good looks and innocent smile, has been given a job promoting tourism for his hometown, Litang county, Sichuan province.
Many net users, however, got confused and thought the young man donning a traditional Tibetan costume in a promotion video was from Tibet autonomous region.
Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism was quick to respond by trending a topic on Weibo that said "Tamdrin is actually from Sichuan". Tamdrin also posted a picture of him holding a piece of paper bearing his own handwriting, which read, “Home is in Sichuan.”
However, Tibet Daily, a local newspaper in the autonomous region, didn’t miss the chance to get attention by posting a picture of the Potala Palace on Weibo, and inviting Tamdrin for a visit, after the young man said in an interview that Lhasa was his dream city to visit.
#以为丁真在西藏# #其实丁真在四川# #丁真最想去的地方是拉萨# #四川为了丁真有多努力# #西藏拥有了躺赢的快乐# ……
Over the day, the trending list on Weibo saw topics of Sichuan and Tibet trying to win Tamdrin over vying for top spots.
Other provinces and regions in China decided they couldn’t miss the party, and started a round of invitation game, their official tourism accounts on Weibo posting a variety of promotional posters and videos of local scenic spots and cultural attractions while asking Tamdrin to come to visit.
Net users also joined the carnival by turning the picture of Tamdrin holding the poster declaring his Sichuan origin an internet meme.
Some net users believe Tamdrin’s phenomenal popularity has great significance that goes beyond an internet sensation, as it sheds light on the efforts that local government and rural officials have made to boost local tourism and fight poverty. Tamdrin’s instant fame not only changes his own life, but also brings opportunity to his hometown’s cultural and tourism development.
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