Sign of the apocalypse, and clearest evidence yet that the world really is going to end this Saturday? The latest omen of how a debt-ridden America must truckle to its Chinese paymasters? Or, on the contrary, a heartening if campy illustration of the world's hyper-connected youth civilization? Or (my guess) mainly a reminder that many writers for The Simpsons during its glory years were Harvard grads?
Judge for yourself. It's a video of Harvard students extolling (while singing in Chinese) their teachers and experiences in 中文Bb -- Chinese Bb, Elementary Modern Chinese. It's called Hafo Huanying Ni! -- "Harvard (Hafo -- ah, the joy of Chinese transliteration) Welcomes You!" -- and I'll get to the back story after the clip. You can hear the sweep of the melody and refrain in the the first 2 minutes, though some nice mock-heroic poses like the one above appear at the beginning and at time 2:30 and afterwards, and in the big finish.
The joke factor here is that this is a nice takeoff of Chinese "morale-building" propaganda in general, and in specific of a video that blanketed every square millimeter of China through the Olympic year of 2008. That was Beijing Huanying Ni! -- "Beijing Welcomes You!" -- which ran on nonstop loops in every subway car, as an "interstitial" ad on every TV station, as a pre-landing video on every Chinese airlines flight, as outdoor music over public loudspeakers, and in so many other places that for anyone in China then it is as hard to remove from the mind as the Flintstones song. Here's the original (with English subtitles). If you want to skip to the famous refrain, with the song stylings of Jackie Chan, he starts about time 1:10.