Thursday, December 13, 2007

East Is West

The last few days, I have been tuning into to NPR's series Yellow River: A Journey Through China on the commute back home. In one episode, Rob Gifford talks about a group of young people living together in a house and sharing their lives in ways reminiscent of the "Friends" gang. He talks about how little separates the youth of boom town China from their peers in the west.

I was also recently introduced an Internet TV show titled
Sexy Beijing. The producer describes it as "A show which follows the ups-and-downs of Sufei, a 30-something singleton looking for love in China. Along the way, we cover topics like feminism, hip-hop, migrant workers, and Chinese romance. One thing that's unique about our show is that it appeals to both Chinese and Western audiences. We also do the show in Mandarin and it's a big hit on Chinese video-sharing site tudou.com"

The blog post titled Money, Love and Numerology draws parallels between east and west just as Rob Gifford does. The blogger reports :

According to the China Daily, a "growing number of the country's young adults" consider money to be a determining factor when looking for a partner.

"Nearly half the 8,932 respondents said that money and other financial packages are the most important preconditions for love."

A poor sap named Lu Yun tells the paper that his girlfriend recently dumped him over housing. "She made it very clear: An apartment works. No apartment, no-go," he told the paper. The guy is only 28 years old!

Later in the post, he writes:

Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw was hung up on an emotionally unavailable real estate mogul, not a romantic but underemployed security guard from the Bronx who still lived with his mom.


But still, home ownership as a pre-condition for love at the age of 28 would surely rule out about 99% of young singles in New York or San Francisco. Little wonder many young Chinese complain that the pressures of life are mounting in contemporary Chinese society.

1 comment:

Musings.. said...

Something else that adds stress for the chinese youth is that often one couple may have a high number of dependents- as many as 20 apart from their own child. (incl parents and grandparents from both spouces!)