Art historian Chiang Hsun shares his memories of former Taiwan politician Cheng Shu-min, who had passed away in July 2023. Shu-min had the true heart of an Arian woman, driven towards success and poised against woes in her private life and political career.
Musing at the way modern hands are preoccupied with the mindless scrolling of mobile phones, art historian Chiang Hsun remembers his mother who knew the weight of things with one touch of her hands. Those same hands made countless beautiful sweaters and embroidery for her family — it was her labour of love.
On top of the multiple stressors that Chinese youths struggle with in their daily lives — from the bleak economic outlook to poor employment prospects and the financial blow caused by the pandemic — annoying relatives are getting the boot. Lianhe Zaobao China Desk looks into why young people are no longer tolerating toxic familial relationships and if this is an inevitable trend of modernisation.
Since the start of this year, hordes of parents have descended on the Chongqing People’s Park matchmaking corner every weekend to find a potential mate for their children. Many parents there lament that the matchmaking corner is like a “hypermarket” where parents try to “outmanoeuvre” each other. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong believes that it is also a microcosm of the socioeconomic divide in China.
A young black American who has just finished his master’s in Beijing gives a first-hand account of being viewed as the Other in China. Despite some negative encounters, the conversations he has had in the local language and the friendships he has forged have made the experience all worthwhile.
Poverty alleviation has been a hot topic in China in recent years. A documentary about the Daliang Mountains where some poor communities live made young Chinese comic artist Bai Yi reflect on the suffering and helplessness of poverty. While China’s poverty alleviation programme has helped ease the situation, how many children in the mountain areas fail to get adequate help for various reasons, and generations continue to suffer the same fate? A kite with a broken string is difficult to retrieve; one can only pray that some kind soul will pick it up.
Demand for matchmaking services and platforms is on the rise for China’s growing elderly population. Though these people have plenty of life experience, it seems they still conform to the expectations of society, be it assessing a mate by monetary criteria or fearing gossip for seeking a second chance at love. Under the weight of societal norms, their quest for love is riddled with obstacles. On a lighter note, the plethora of elderly matchmaking variety shows that have spawned do provide some entertainment and fun for this segment of the population.
Just as women in China today, especially rural women, have to contend with male favouritism and diminished rights, women in the Tang dynasty were also restricted by rules and social practices, even if the era in which female emperor Wu Zetian ruled was thought to be the golden era of women’s rights.