As China's Lunar New Year approaches, millions of young people return home for family reunions. However, many of them will be dreading family "interrogations" that often accompany the festivities.
Questions involving personal relationships, salary, work plans, family plans are among the must-ask-questions in many families. Throughout the ordeal, the helpless victims must maintain at least the appearance of respect for their family members.
These pressures resonate with China's stressed-out millennials who work or study far way from home. They either choose to change topic or to avoid attending family reunions at the excuse of working overtime. A seven-minute song called “What I do is for your own good” or “A Spring Festival survival guide”, performed by Shanghai Rainbow Chamber Singers, has attracted millions of views on social platforms.
CGTN took to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, asking people from different generations about their thoughts on family reunions.
“There is debate and disagreement between young people and their parents about when to get married and have children. Elder generations use old standards to ask filial generations to create a family as early as possible,” said Xia Jin, alto from the Rainbow Chamber Singers.
Founded in 2010, the choir wants to use melody to tell stories of social concerns. The music comes from its member's own experiences and anxieties, but they hope to create a platform to bring mutual understanding.
“We can understand why parents and relatives ask us these questions. They live far away from us, family reunions like Spring Festival prove short reunions for us. However, they need to trust us that we can have a better future on our own,” Qu Jingjie, who has been working far away from home in Beijing for seven years as a so-called "drifter", told CGTN.
After a rip-roaring anthem about individualism, the song ends with a warm chorus:
Spring Festival self-help requires more than wisdom
We also need constant love for each other
“We need to take back the disagreement, and family reunion is the only topic for New Year. Love means we all need to be merciful, wisdom means we can communicate with others,” said Gao Ning, tenor from the Rainbow Chamber Singers. “Younger generations want to communicate more with the elder generation, and hope their parents and relatives can understand their worldviews and life choices, ” he added.
Talk more with your parents and share with them your recent ideas and lives. At least in our case, family can get the message: “I've sent the video to my mom, I think I will have a happier Spring Festival this year,” said Gao.