Children of China

Today (June 1st) is international Children’s Day in most countries around the world, a day set to commemorate the children who died in the Lidice Massacre of 1942 during WWII. China began celebrating this day for its children in 1949. On this day, children all over China will be pampered with toys, sweets and taken out for treats. They have always been a vital part of Chinese society, although in the last hundred years or so, attitudes towards them have vastly changed. In traditional Chinese society, ancestral lineage is paramount, and one’s offspring are the means of passing on one’s lineage. One of the primary duties of children is to carry and protect the family name, magnify its glory by uniting with another great lineage, and passing it on to offspring who can then take up the mantel. Children were instruments to the ultimate goal. 子孙满堂, to have a household full of children and grandchildren, was the traditional ideal for happiness. After urbanisation, and policies put in place for population control in Modern China, having a household full of offspring is no longer an option for most families in cities. Considering the cost of raising a child in modern China, very few parents would want a dozen children. Now, in China’s boom years, when structural and social developments occur too quickly to allow mental adjustment, the single children of China have become the primary focus of love, money and hopes for so many parents.  Allowing each family only one priceless little treasure, or in Continue Reading →

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