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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Numa Numa

Numa Numa is an Internet phenomenon based on amateur videos, most notably Numa Numa Dance by Gary Brolsma, made for the song "Dragostea din tei" as performed by the Moldovan pop group O-Zone. Brolsma's video, released in December 2004, was the first Numa Numa-themed video to gain widespread attention. Less than three months after the release, it had been viewed more than two million times on the debut website alone. Numa Numa Dance has since spawned many parody videos, including those created for the "New Numa Fatty Contest", sponsored by Brolsma, which promised US$45,000 in prize money for submissions. His original video was named 41st in the 2006 broadcast of 100 Greatest Funny Moments by Channel 4 in the UK.

Brolsma's Numa Numa Video

The phrase Numa Numa is from a refrain of "Dragostea din tei". The refrain, "nu mă, nu mă iei", can be approximately translated from Romanian as "you don't, you don't take me [with you]."

The Numa Numa phenomenon was first popularized by Gary Brolsma's release of Numa Numa Dance onto Newgrounds.com on December 6, 2004. By February 25, 2005, less than three months after Brolsma released the video onto Newgrounds, it had been viewed more than two million times on that site alone. Brolsma later stated in an interview, "...I found it ["Dragostea din tei"] in another (I believe it was Japanese) flash animation with cartoon cats". Others have noted Brolsma's inspiration was the Japanese flash animation Maiyahi by the Albinoblacksheep.com user "ikari", whose video featured an animated version of the popular Shift_JIS art cat Monā.

On Newgrounds.com Numa Numa Dance has since been seen more than fifteen million times. From there it has been copied onto hundreds of other websites and blogs. According to a November 27, 2006 report by the BBC, based on page impression figures collated by viral marketing company The Viral Factory, Numa Numa Dance is the second-most watched viral video of all time, with 700 million views, losing out only to "Star Wars kid". He received mainstream media coverage from ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's The Tonight Show, and VH1's Best Week Ever, and, according to The New York Times, was an "unwilling and embarrassed Web celebrity". He canceled media appearances but reappeared in September 2006 with a professionally produced video, New Numa. This video, hosted on YouTube, marked the start of the "New Numa Contest", which promised US$45,000 in prize money and a US$25,000 award to the winner.

A story in the June/July 2006 issue of The Believer explores the song's spread and global homogenization, while arguing that Brolsma's video "singlehandedly justifies the existence of webcams (....) It’s a movie of someone who is having the time of his life, wants to share his joy with everyone, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks".

One version of Brolsma's video also contains some puns, among them pictures of feta cheese during the lyric fericirea (happiness) and a LEGO representation of Bob Ross during the singer's words sunt eu Picasso (it's me Picasso).

Gary plans to appear in the first consumer generated Super Bowl Commercial, known as MySuperAd, sporting the Numa Numa Dance. Numa Numa Dance was also featured in South Park.


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