Posts Tagged: china

The 1 Million Chinese Families Whose Only Children Have Died

At NPR, a piece about Chinese parents who are organizing for government benefits after losing their only children to illness or accidents:

Population experts estimate that over 1 million Chinese families have lost their only children. They say that number could exceed 10 million by midcentury.

The pain of losing an only child is magnified by Chinese tradition, in which if you fail to carry on the family line, you're seen as dishonoring your ancestors.

Xiaonan's mom admits the one-child policy did not cause her son's death, even though it has put her in a tough spot in her old age.

"Here we are, at this age, without [...]


Young Chinese Professionals Celebrate the Single Life by Spending a Collective $5.4 Billion in One Day

A Chinese holiday to celebrate being single has turned into one of the world’s largest online shopping events.


[On November 11th], millions of unattached Chinese took advantage of online shopping specials tailored for them—travel deals for lone travelers, single-serving rice cookers, boyfriend pillows, and deals on BMWs (helpful for shedding one’s single status).

Why not make a bunch of rice and just eat leftovers? No? Okay! Buy that tiny rice cooker.

Sales passed that of America’s after-Thanksgiving day of shopping deals, Cyber Monday, and reached $5.4 billion by 11pm.

That is almost as much as the GDP of Monaco. What is the big deal, guys?

The day, always on 11/11—the single [...]


Ambition, Defined

Two friends of mine moved to Qingdao, China, a few weeks ago to teach. The school gave them an apartment, where they discovered a notebook with this list on the first page and nothing else. The previous occupant, a woman, had been teaching at the school but had left abruptly a couple of weeks earlier. (Proper nouns have been changed.)

2011 – 2012

-Get married to Guillaume.

-Build and sell Emerging Market Strategies LLC.

-Become fluent in Chinese, French, German, Portuguese.

-Maintain a youthful, gorgeous appearance.


Jilted Bride Is Rescued at the Last Possible Second!

A bride in China got stood up on her wedding day and was so distraught that she jumped out a window — but someone caught her at the last second and saved her! Here are some amazing pictures of her rescue.


Do It For the Vine, Baby-Catching-Hero Edition

One upside to the surveillance state is that, when horrifying-and-then-phenomenal things like this happen, we've got video evidence! The baby whose life is saved on camera is one year old, and slipped out of the window during a thunderstorm while looking for his mother.


Children on Fire

National Geographic puts a human face on the young Tibetans who choose self-immolation and the people who find themselves left behind:

Jamphel Yeshi—Jashi to his friends—lived with four other Tibetan men in a one-room, windowless apartment they rented for the equivalent of $90 a month. The entrance to the room is through a tiny kitchen area, which is separated from the sleeping quarters by a threadbare curtain in a Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck motif. Jashi's mattress still lies on the floor in a corner, below posters of the Dalai Lama and other senior lamas. His mattress and four others form a U-shape around the perimeter of the room, [...]


Walmart & A Greener China?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, another "Walmart's impact on the universe" story! This one is about going greener? Maybe? Did I ever tell you how I was in a Walmart when Sam Walton died and and they announced it over the loudspeakers and made us all stop shopping and have a moment of silence?


Leftover Woman

I am supine in a plush recliner. A woman is kneeling before me, pressing her thumbs into my feet. My friend Jon, a Chinese-American Tsinghua professor, is next to me in an identical chair. The TV in front of us is switched on a nature channel. The leopard pouncing on an unsuspecting gazelle makes sense in any language.

A man is rubbing Jon’s feet. “Is that your girlfriend?” the masseur asks him in Mandarin, nodding to me. “No,” Jon says, “she’s an old friend.”

“How old is she?” the masseur asks. Jon asks me and I answer 29 in English although I understand the Chinese. Jon translates and the masseur [...]


Scientology and Me, Part Five: Hubbard, Mao, and Me

Previously: parts onetwothree, and four

It gets a little tiring being the only former Scientologist everyone you meet has ever known, or to be asked on a first date whether you were raised religiously and know that if you answer honestly you’re in for 25 minutes of Q&A. Not only do you start to wonder if the most interesting thing about yourself is something you had nothing to do with, but you began to refine and embellish this narrative over dozens and dozens of tellings. Which eventually begins to restructure your actual recollections, highlighting some memories while pushing others — no less important — into the [...]


Free Trip Itinerary!

I recently moved to Xiamen, China, which is an island but sometimes seems like an amusement park. The free cartoon maps at the airport spotlight the city’s ferris wheel and little googly-eyed girls drinking coffee under umbrellas. Also sometimes the rocks lining the sea by the perfectly worn boardwalk look like painted concrete.

I moved the day before a national holiday, so my college friend and new roommate, Zach, had to convince me to go traveling. What was I going to do? Get settled? That was stupid, he assured me. It’s a holiday! We’d have much more fun traveling, and even more fun traveling without reservations! Yes, we were [...]