Group to launch ad extolling singlehood during Lunar New Year

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-4 1:23:01

A group of young Chinese is set to put an advertisement that extols singlehood in one of Beijing's busiest subway stations on Thursday, in a bid to challenge the traditional Chinese concept of marriage on the occasion of the Spring Festival holiday.

Photo: Li Hao/GT

"Parents are likely to bombard children with their 'you must marry' preaching during the Spring Festival, so we chose February to display our advertisement," Li Cheng (pseudonym), the 24-year-old founder of the group, told the Global Times.

He said the advertisement is scheduled to be displayed inside Dongzhimen metro station from Thursday to early March.

According to Chinese tradition, to be filial to his or her parents, one must marry and produce offsprings. The belief has created considerable pressure on the young Chinese today.

"We want the public to know that being single is not shameful, but a personal choice," Li pointed out.

According to a survey conducted by Hong Kong-based Ming Pao, over 70 percent of the Chinese under the age of 40 have been urged by their parents to get married. The percentage jumps to 86 for people aged between 25 and 35.

Li and his friends started a crowdfunding platform in January, aiming to raise 35,000 yuan ($5,384) to put up the advertisement. He admitted that he only collected 12,000 yuan as of Wednesday but said the advertisement will be placed according to plan.

Chinese people are too focused on family relationships compared with the Westerners, which leads to too much interference with children's lives by elders. Young people need to make their own voice heard and attract public attention, Xiong Jing, a feminist and managing director of the Media Monitor for Women Network, told the Global Times earlier.

Despite the fact that many parents want their children to get married early, there has been a constant rise in divorce rate with the number of divorced couple reaching 3.64 million in 2014.

Parents' desire to see their children getting married early is understandable, but forcing them into marriage may cause unhappiness due to a lack of solid emotional foundation, said Hu Rui, a Beijing-based lawyer.

Others have noted that many of the young Chinese lack the capability to resist their parents because they are economically dependent on their parents.

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