This is the 1510 Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published on the Chinese web, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.
Migrant workers tend to be presented as an anonymous mass, and thought of either as a problem for Chinese cities and infrastructures, or an example of inequalities and discrimination in contemporary China. This week’s post invites us to look at rural-urban migrations from a different angle, by focusing on the relationships and continuity between cities and country towns. Zhang Zejia’s ‘There’s a void called the countryside’ and Li Tianqi’s ‘These old people back home who ‘got old’ both explore this ongoing attachment to the rural hometown. Through the vision of a dying rural world, they also reveal the complexities of personal attachment to rural memories, the strength of family networks, and the significance of yearly return journeys to the rural hometown for city dwellers.
On the front page of Shenyang Evening News (沈阳晚报) from the capital of Liaoning province today is a large picture and profile of a four-year-old mixed-race child — the “happy black kid” of the headline who ended up in a Shenyang orphanage after he was found abandoned on a street in the city. Surnamed Shen after Shenyang (沈阳) like all the children at the orphanage, the child was a source of amazement to the Shenyang Evening News journalist who went to the orphanage to check him out. Read more
This has been the year of the flash mob in China, the breastfeeding flash mob to be exact. In May, August and September of this year, Chinese mothers bared their breasts in public to help galvanize a tiny yet growing movement that encourages natural births over Caesarian sections and breastfeeding over infant formula. Read more
What do you do when you have two children but no-one to look after them and not enough money to put them in kindergarten? The New Express Daily (新快报) from Guangdong has a picture on its front page today showing what happened when migrant worker parents in Guangzhou found themselves in this predicament: they chained their children chained to a wall at a construction site. Read more
Kids in Xiamen are apparently some of the unhealthiest in China. As the Haixia Daobao (海峡导报) from Xiamen reports today, nine out of every ten children in Xiamen have eyesight problems, two out of ten are obese, and rates of malnutrition and tooth decay are higher than the national average. These are some of the findings that were revealed yesterday when the education department in Xiamen released a report entitled The Physical Health Situation for Primary and Secondary Schools in the 2011-12 Academic Year in Xiamen (2011至2012学年厦门市直属中小学及区属监测点校学生健康体检情况), which reported data for close to 65,000 students. Read more
This is the 1510 Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published in Chinese on My1510.cn, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.
From ‘tiger mums’ to ‘little emperors’, contemporary family relations in China have given rise to many negative stereotypes. How should good Chinese parents bring up their children? What values and behaviours should be taught to the younger generation, to protect them as children, and allow them to grow into resilient, balanced and successful adults?
This week’s post proposes a selection of recent articles from 1510 on that topic.
Chengdu, China — A peaceful parental counter-movement is growing that is beginning to question the popular reliance in China on medically assisted births and infant formula, as well as the Tiger Mom ethos that puts children through the educational grinder.
They meet during chats online before slowly moving from the virtual world — often maintaining their online monikers — to form groups of friends who struggle against a tide of traditional thought, institutional stagnation and downright ignorance of how the female body works. Read more