Chinese youth start ad campaign to combat pressure from their parents to get married

World Today

“Dear mom and dad, please don’t worry about me. It’s a big world, and life is diverse – I can be happy being single.”

This was a message posted on an advertising board at a busy subway station in Beijing by a group of young people in response to the pressure they perceive from the parents to get married.

The advertisement, which will be displayed at Dongzhimen Subway Station for a month, cost them some 38,000 yuan (almost $6,000).

For many young Chinese, reuniting with their families during the Spring Festival brings a number of difficult questions about their love lives and about when they intend to get married.

Han Deqian, 33, who is one of the initiators of the campaign, says that there is a big difference between his attitude and that of his parents when it comes to issues like marriage. Given that, all he hopes to do through the advert is to voice his views.

According to a recent report, 80 percent of Chinese people who have reached marriageable age face pressure from their parents to get married. In fact, such is the scenario that the report was titled “Report on Situation of Unmarried People Being Pushed into Marriage in China.”

Researchers surveyed 1,000 unmarried people under the age of 40 from cities across China and found that people aged between 25 and 35 are under the most pressure, with 86 percent of them saying that they were being pushed to get married.

Many older parents expect their children to live a traditional life and raise a family, while their children, living in fast-paced cities, have a more relaxed attitude towards marriage, which has led to conflicts between the two generations, says Qiu Zeqi, a professor of sociology at Tsinghua University.

The situation only gets worse as the traditional Spring Festival nears and people return home to celebrate the holidays with their families and face a barrage of questions about settling down. Such is the sense of dread among the youth that some of them even end up hiring a partner to take home, just to escape from the scrutiny.

However, Shen Yihong, an associate professor of sociology at Fudan University, believes that what has been touted as the “Spring Festival Third Degree” is merely an expression of parental love.

Shen says that instead of obfuscating or getting angry, children need to show more patience and understanding about inquires regarding their marriage. Communication instead of silence is a better way out, he says.

Story by CCTV NEWS.