On the second day of the Chinese lunar New Year, Maomao, a young man from a small village in east China's Anhui Province, left for the central province of Hunan to visit his friend whom he had met in the southern Guangdong Province in the course of working there for the past year.
Maomao is just one of countless young people who leave their home villages for cities, where they work and make lots of friends.
In stark contrast to their fathers' generation who have not seen much life outside a dozen-square mile enclave, Maomao and his peers, whose home villages may be several thousand miles apart, flock to the same cities as migrant workers, holding a common goal- "to get rich as quickly as possible" - and become close friends.
Modern transport and telecom methods have improved communications among China's new generation of farmers, most of whom are now migrant workers.
Widespread use of TVs, phones and buses have helped young farmers see the urban way of living. On returning to their hometowns, they also keep in close contact with friends they made in cities, and these friends often turn out to be big helping hands to them.
Sun Mu, another young farmer who runs his own henhouse in his home village after spending several years in cities as a migrant worker, succeeded in selling eggs and chickens to neighboring cities with the help of his urban friends.
During the traditional Chinese Spring Festival period, he paid New Year visits to friends in other cities. His urban friends also made calls and sent messages to him.
Guided by the old Chinese saying "friends are of key importance to everyone out of home", Sun feels fortunate that his friends have helped him during his journey to wealth.
New generations of Chinese farmers, not satisfied with the traditional way of "seeing life" as their fathers have done, have started to develop their own businesses, which flourishes just as their friends in cities.
(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2006)