Chinese cuisine

Swedish cross-country skier’s snack sampling video goes viral in China –

A clip of Jens Burman enjoying Chinese snacks on his vlog has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on a Chinese social media platform.

The sport of cross-country skiing didn’t exactly become a sensation in China during the Winter Olympics.

Despite the country’s massive investment in the training of cross-country skiers and biathletesnone cracked the top 10 in Beijing, and Chinese journalists complain that athletes dodged them after races.

Jens Burman (SWE) runs the 15k Olympic Classic, but catches the eye of a viral video for his snack sampling. (Photo: NordicFocus)

What has gone viral in China, however, are the snacking habits of a Swedish cross-country skier. Jens Burman, 27, has accumulated over half a million views on Chinese social video platform Bilibili.

“I thought, ‘This must be a joke. What’s going on?’ But it was true,” said Tomas Petterssonthe veteran cross-country ski columnist who dubbed the phenomenon “Burma.”

Burman is a “cool, relaxed dude” from typically stuffy northern Sweden, Petterson said, and he posted a increasingly popular vlog – although it’s not as popular as the one led by the Norwegian superstar Johannes Hosflot Klaebo.

Upon arriving in Beijing, Burman posted a seemingly innocuous message 13 minute video on a day in his life at the Olympic Village. It included a segment where he helped himself to some of the local Chinese cuisine – snacks, to be precise.

The first was the oddly branded “Powers Easy for Life,” which came in an extra-puffy bag that Burman, in English subtitles, described as “hard as a rock.”

The review: “I thought it would be crisps. But hard to explain… A mixture of cheese doodles and corn biscuits.

Next is the Swiss strawberry roll: “juicy” and “just like a Swedish Swiss roll”. Finally came the Thumper waffles, which were “not like the waffles I’m used to”.

Jens Burman tastes a strawberry roll cake in a video that has gone viral on Chinese social video platform Bilibili. (Bilili screenshot)

“More like a sponge cake, but not as sweet,” he said. “Nothing in particular.”

After Burman posted the video, he said, he started hearing people on Instagram say it had “millions of views” on a Chinese platform.

“I didn’t get it,” Burman said in an interview after placing eighth in his race on Friday. “But then I got a link and saw that my video was prominent on the Chinese version of YouTube.”

Petersson, the columnist, said he wasn’t sure where the video appeared. But a non-exhaustive search by FasterSkier/the Anchorage Daily News, with the help of some Chinese volunteers, found the one-and-a-half-minute tasting clip on Bilibili, with nearly 500,000 views.

Among the hundreds of commentators was one who feared Burman would gain weight by the end of the Olympics. Another suggested an alternative career as a food blogger. Another wanted to take Burman for spicy noodles.

Ultimately, Burman said, virality may not amount to much, since most viewers caught it on Bilibili instead of Burman’s YouTube channel.

But, he said, “it’s funny that they saw my video.”