How a Youtuber Spreads Chinese Culture Through ASMR

ShiliTV posts ASMR videos on her Youtube channel, but the message she spreads is much more.


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If you don’t frequent ASMR channels on Youtube, you may not have heard of ShiliTV before. But no matter whether you’re a fan of ASMR or not, there is far more to Shili’s channel than might meet the eye at first glance.


Shili is a young woman who started posting videos in 2018. Browsing her channel, you’ll see videos such as “Trying Weird Chinese Fruits”. She also often tries different kinds of Chinese street food in videos. These kinds of videos are often seen on Youtube. Alongside these videos, though, you will find a different kind.


ShiliTV is well known for her unique ASMR videos. To name a few: “Ancient Chinese Facial” and “Chinese Facial Moxibustion”. One popular series is one in which she goes to different Chinese cities to get her ears cleaned. The videos are high quality, often with several different camera angles.

So what is it about these unique and sometimes strange videos that has to do with Chinese culture?


Shili’s channel is mostly in Chinese. But her videos are also aimed towards an English-speaking and Korean audience. There are video titles, subtitles, and comments in all three languages. Her video introduces a part of Chinese culture to a non-Chinese audience that they may not know about.


Chinese medicine is a kind of traditional medicine that has over 3,000 years of use. It involves things like acupuncture, massage, and diet therapy, among others. Many people know very little about traditional Chinese medicine, but it’s not as complex as it seems. Have you ever drank an herbal tea to combat a cold? Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs in many forms to treat ailments. It is a practice with a long and rich history, and many of its practices are still in use in modern China. 


For example, take Shili’s video “Ancient Chinese Head Massage”. In it, Shili gets a relaxing head massage at a spa that uses ancient Chinese techniques (called bojin or ‘拨筋’). While she gets the massage, she asks the masseuse questions about the treatment. After the head massage, Shili has an herbal treatment done on her hair.

“Is this Chinese Medicine?” Her cameraman asks. 


“Yes,” the masseuse agrees. Later on, she applies a paste to Shili’s hair. “This is ginger paste,” she explains. “It decreases inflammation and kills germs. Ginger can strengthen hair and prevent baldness.” 

In the comment section, there are tons of comments asking about where they can get this treatment in the US. This is one example of many where Shili introduces traditional Chinese practices to a foreign audience. People usually watch her videos for ASMR. But they often leave having learned something new about Chinese culture. 


 Often times, people have heard of Chinese medicine but have no idea what it is. Shili is using her platform to change that. Chinese medicine is only the tip of the iceberg of China’s rich cultural history, but it’s a good (and relaxing!) place to start.


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