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People’s Daily Comments: “Little but certain depression” isn’t necessarily bad, but its causes shouldn’t be ignored

By Hu Ximeng (People's Daily Online)    16:43, July 12, 2017

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“My life is pretty much over,” “I don’t feel like doing anything,” “I’m depressed”…An unexpected “Sang Culture” (Sang in pinyin refers to depression in Chinese) has become popular among some of the country’s youth. Feeling aimless and spiritless, those who experience “xiao que sang” (“little but certain depression”) tend to show a negative attitude toward work and life.

Not long ago, however, the buzzword on social media was “xiao que xing” (“little but certain happiness”), a phrase which originated from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s book, “Afternoon in the Islets of Langerhans.” Back then, many youngsters shared positive views on life, saying that they would always be grateful for the “little but certain happiness” they had despite the hardness of reality. The switch from “happiness” to “depression” in a short period of time has prompted concerns from the media and the general public.

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In fact, demonizing the prevalence of “sang” is not necessary, as young people’s interpretation of “sang” might not necessarily be bad. Labeling themselves “depressed” might be their way of coping with anxiety about the future.

Of course, the social causes behind this culture are worth investigating. Liang Yong’an, a Fudan University professor, once shared a similar story in Korea. In 1980s, Japanese music and movies weren’t warmly welcomed in Korea. After ten years of urbanization, the Korean people lived under great pressure and gradually understood the loneliness and sorrow inherent in the gloomy Japanese productions, which finally became a national trend in 1990s.

Likewise, young people in China are now facing unprecedented challenges brought about by rapid economic and social development. Although their feelings of loneliness and powerlessness are understandable, the social causes and corresponding solutions still need further attention.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Xiaofei, Bianji)

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