Seated in a variety of postures on neatly laid out purple mattresses, about 55 people, the youngest aged 5, faced off in a “daze” competition in Changzhou’s Hong Mei Park on March 20, according to Changzhou Daily, a local newspaper in the coastal province of east China.
The competitioners were told that all they could do was sit in a daze—those who moved, laughed, or fell asleep would be instantly disqualified. To make things more challenging, loud music and jokes were continually broadcasted through powerful sound speakers.
One woman gave up after just 10 minutes, according to Changzhou Daily. “I enjoy being in a daze because it’s so relaxing, thus I registered for this competition. After sitting here, however, I realized the competition is not easy at all,” said the woman.
Another female contestant was disqualified for chuckling after hearing a particularly hilarious joke played on the speakers. A man in a blue jacket who tilted his neck awkwardly and kept that position from the get go (see picture below) gave up after 30 minutes. He told reporters later that he decided to stay in that lopsided posture not because it was more comfortable, but because he could gaze at a beautiful flower in that direction.
Four hours into the competition, only Zhou Xuanjie, a student from Nanjing University of the Arts, was still in a stupor. Zhou was crowned “Daze Deity” and took home a 5,000-yuan (about $767) bicycle.
While organizers of the competition said that “dazing” was a modern way to release stress, and that the competition would promote the benefits of a slow-paced lifestyle, netizens strongly disagreed in the discussion section of the article that was reposted on Internet portal Netease.
“I am from Changzhou, Jiangsu. The very moment I saw this news, I felt ashamed,” wrote a netizen going by the name “Tang Ni.”
Another netizen from Yunnan echoed a similar sentiment: “The organizers of this competition are idiots, and those taking part in it are also idiots.”
A Beijing netizen commented sarcastically: “A hospital director will likely say ‘Let’s register our vegetative patients in this competition.'”
“I worry about the future of my country,” commented a netizen from Jiangxi.