Homebound family reunion undergoes changes

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 14, 2018
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The nostalgic homebound family reunion, such an integral part of the annual Spring Festival, may gradually be changing.

A recent survey conducted by Beijing Youth Daily showed that more than 40 percent out of 1,975 respondents in various cities across China intend to invite their parents to their homes, to avoid the jostling during the long, tedious and overcrowded trips and tight schedule in heading for the old family home during a holiday lasting only seven days.

A father carrying his child heads to a high-speed train at the Chongqing West Railway Station in Chongqing, southwest China, Feb. 12, 2018. The station witnessed the first travel peak of the Spring Festival travel rush on Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

More than 60 percent of the respondents believe their parents can have an opportunity to feast their eyes on different cultures and landscapes while paying a visit to the urban homes of the younger generation.

Meanwhile, 52.3 percent respondents believed the visits of their parents might free them from long distance commuting that always end up with exhaustion, and 24.9 percent pointed out this solution could reduce the chances of quarrels that seem ubiquitous among young couples when trying to decide with which side of the family the holiday should be spent.

Zheng Wen, a native of Huangshi, Hubei province, has settled down in Shenzhen as an engineer. According to him, his parents have chosen to stay at his home in Shenzhen every Spring Festival for several consecutive years.

He said the ticket from Shenzhen to Huangshi is very difficult to get during the Spring holiday, but a trip in reverse is easy to arrange.

Hu Xiaowu, vice professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Nanjing University, said there were generally three reasons for elderly people to stay at their children’s homes for the holiday.

“First, those young people are financially secure and able to have sufficient room for visiting parents. Second, they can spend more time with their parents instead of spending much time on a round trip in a vacation only lasting seven days. Third, upon their graduation, young people have already become adapted to urban lives,” he explained.

However, there are also different views.

According to the survey, 63 percent respondents worry about their parents’ health while making long journeys, and 48.7 percent are concerned about safety issues en route.

Meanwhile, 36.3 percent respondents believe that, no matter where the holiday is spent, as long as the family are together then a happy festive atmosphere is ensured.

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