person holding glasses with caption 'My ancestors: 'What are these?' (l) person standing speaking with caption 'My 1930 Jewish ancestor: We can work now?' (c) person looking left speaking with caption 'A woman thousands of years ago: 'We still do that?' (r)

TikTok@dineaesthetics/video/7200157333408795946?_r=1&_t=8ZuC3WqwbpG @dontgotaclueintheworld/TikTok @zevulous/TikTok

‘I need you to get out of Germany, fast’: TikTokers are talking to their (hypothetical) ancestors in this new trend

'We are breaking generational cycles over here.'

 

Tricia Crimmins

IRL

Posted on Feb 15, 2023

An Indie Pop song released in 2015 is the unlikely the backdrop for a new TikTok trend in which creators imagine conversations they’d want to have with their ancestors.

The trend, set to a sped-up version of Ryn Weaver’s “Pierre,” has taken TikTok by storm in the last two days. The TikTok audio has been used in over 15,000 videos, many of which show how surprised people from the past might be if they saw the ways we lived today.

The most popular video in the style of the trend is from TikToker @kofera. Her video, which was posted on Monday and by Wednesday had almost 13 million views, shows the TikToker role-playing a conversation between her and “women in the 1800s.”

The women ask her what she’s doing, and when she says “working,” the women smile and exclaim, “Wow we can finally do that??”

@kofera

why y’all have to fight for our rights 🫥🫥🫥 ( my hoodie is bleached I’m not dirty 🤲)

♬ original sound – 🌊🏄🏼‍♀️🤙🏼

TikToker Charlie Amáyá Scott (@dineaesthetics) took the trend in a different direction. Their video shows the TikToker getting “seen” by her ancestors: after inquiring how her eyeglasses work, Scott’s ancestors tell her she’s beautiful.

“Trans is beautiful,” Scott wrote in the caption of their video.

Some videos of trend show similarities between modern-day life and that of ancient times or that history repeats itself.

Like Mehreen’s (@dontgotaclueintheworld) video shows her bonding with “a woman thousands and thousands of years ago” about staining one’s nails and hands with henna. Asta Darling’s (@asta.darling) video shows a woman living in 2023 talking to a woman from the 1890s about keychains—the 1890s woman says she calls them chatelaines, or a belt worn to carry keys.

Videos using the trend also show how generational cycles have been broken over time: In her video of the trend, TikToker @scrubhacks tells an ancestor that she’s making a therapy appointment.

“Girl, we are breaking generational cycles over here,” @scrub hacks says in her video.

@scrubhacks This is my favorite trend. We are breaking cycles ❤️‍🩹 #breakingcyclesoftrauma #breakingcycles #generationaltrauma #generationalcurses #therapy #therapysession #mentalhealth ♬ original sound – 🌊🏄🏼‍♀️🤙🏼

Creators are also using the trend to share what they wish they could have told their ancestors if they could have gone back in time. Zev Burton shows a conversation he might have with his “1930s Jewish ancestor,” who is happy to hear that Jewish people can work in 2023. Then, Burton warns his Jewish ancestor about the Holocaust.

“I need you to get out of Germany, fast,” Burton says in his video.

And, of course, many of the ancestors trend videos poke fun at the behaviors we might have inherited from those who came before us. TikToker Lindsay Henning (@lindsaylayurass) says in her video that her Irish ancestors would be proud of her for pulling an “Irish exit,” or leaving an event without saying goodbye to anyone.

Many commenters seem to be loving all iterations of the trend, saying that it’s “wholesome”—one commenter even said seeing similarities between their ancestors and themselves makes them “feel less alone.”

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*First Published: Feb 15, 2023, 4:10 pm CST