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Yax lizard

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亚克蜥 (yǎ kè xī): Yax Lizard

In Uyghur, the word for good is “yaxshi” (ياخشى‎) which is transliterated into Mandarin as 亚克西. The word “yaxshi” was used in a musical piece in the CCTV 2010 Spring Festival Gala entitled, “The Party's Policies are Yaxshi.” Netizens found the piece, which featured people adorned in traditional Uyghur dress dancing and praising the Communist Party, somewhat ironic in light of the violent anti-government riots less than a year earlier in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Another use of the word that did little to soothe Uyghurs' fears of being exploited by Han Chinese is a state-produced propaganda video in which performers sing, “Xinjiang's oil is yaxshi!”)

To parody the word “yaxshi,” netizens invented the “Yax lizard” which sounds the same as “yaxshi.” The Yax Lizard was dubbed “the first mythical creature of 2010” and placed in the metaphorical ecosystem of grass-mud horses and river crabs. For more on the fictional habitat of the Yax lizard, see, here (Chinese).

Poster for a Uyghur performance entitled "Yaxshi."
One version of the Yax Lizard as a Komodo dragon.