Which spouse's family should China's only children spend Mid-Autumn Festival with?

21:27, September 21, 2010      

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Nowadays, Chinese couples who are each the only child in their families are faced with a difficult problem of choosing to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival with the husband's or the wife's family. The festival is a symbol of traditional Chinese culture and a time of family reunion, but has unexpectedly posed a difficult dilemma for China's only children.

Since the introduction of the one-child policy in the 1970s, more than 6 million Chinese babies have grown up as the first generation of "only children," and statistics show that the number of China's only children has exceeded 100 million. Population experts foresee that in the coming decade, the number of Chinese couples with at least one spouse being an only child will exceed 10 million, and they will gradually become the main component of Chinese society.

According to online survey results, many couples of which both spouses were born in the 1980s have adopted a strategy of "going back to each one's home separately" to celebrate major festivals such as the Spring Festival in recent years. As the Mid-Autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival have both become legal holidays, more and more couples made up of only children are caught in a dilemma. Mr. Yang, who works at the Xi'an Hi-tech Development Zone, said that he liked festivals very much in the past, but now finds it an extremely difficult problem after he got married. There are many good suggestions on the Internet, for example going back to each spouse' home in rotation, deciding where to spend festivals through a lottery, or letting families of both sides celebrating festivals together.

Kong Zhengyi, vice president of the Shaanxi Folklore Society, said that each couple made up of two only children shoulder an extremely heavy burden because they have to look after four old people, namely the husband's and wife's parents, and face considerable pressure from all sectors of society. In addition, they have to make a difficult decision when traditional festivals such as Mid-Autumn Festival and Spring Festival come. Kong suggested that parents of the first-generation of only children should learn to be "independent and find their own pleasure" rather than to put undue pressure on their children. A family reunion itself is a cheerful thing, and returning home for holidays should not be a burden or bother to the only children.

By People's Daily Online


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