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Young Chinese question marriage in soaring divorce rate

divorce rate in china

Beijing: At a registry office in Beijing, Sun Xiangshu and Shi Ci pose for photographs, their wedding certificates in hand, having just officially become man and wife. But like many unions in China this is a marriage that won't last long. In fact, their wedding is a piece of performance art staged by an artist known as Nut Brother.

在北京的一处婚姻登记处,孙香书和施慈手里拿着结婚证拍照,他们刚刚正式结为夫妻。但正如中国的许多夫妻一样,这一对也没能长久。事实上,他们的“婚礼”是“坚果兄弟”策划的一场行为艺术。

The two strangers have been brought together to tie the knot then divorce within 48 hours in an attempt to stir debate about the meaning of the institution of marriage in modern China, which has a soaring divorce rate

策划让孙香书和施慈这对陌生人走到一起结婚,然后在48小时内离婚,是为了激起人们讨论在当代的中国,婚姻的意义是什么。

"I have a lot of friends who have been forced to get married. Marriage has taken on a lot of things it shouldn't, it has become mixed up with things like property, care for the elderly and social stability," said Nut Brother.

 “我周边有很多朋友也被逼婚,也看到很多人为了结婚而结婚。婚姻承担了它不应该承担的东西,婚姻跟性、跟财产、跟社会稳定、跟很多东西都打包放在一起,”坚果兄弟说道。

The decision to get married in China has long been a family affair, with parents traditionally having the last word on their children's spouses.

婚姻一直是中国人的家庭大事,传统上还有“父母之命、媒妁之言”。

With a patchy social welfare system and Confucian expectations that the younger generation will take care of the old, questions of material wealth are often more important than compatibility when young people come under pressure to get married and produce the next generation of the family line.

中国的社保制度尚不完善,传统上社会也期望年轻一代赡养老一辈。在这种背景下,当年轻人面临压力要结婚和生育下一代时,物质财富的重要性通常高于彼此的默契。

Young people who decide they do not want to tread the traditional marriage path find themselves fighting against established values championed by those at the very top.

决定不走传统婚姻之路的那些中国年轻人发现,他们正在与传统的价值观相抗衡。

But as traditional notions of family obligations increasingly come into conflict with more individualistic aspirations, the divorce rate has soared.

随着有关家庭义务的传统观念与更为个性化的追求之间日渐出现冲突,中国的离婚率已经飙升。

From 2011 to 2014, the most recent years for which data is available, the number of divorces increased by 27 per cent, fuelled in part by those who find it impossible to maintain a marriage that might appear rosy but lacks real love.

从2011年到2014年,中国的离婚数量增加了27%,其中部分是由于有些人认为没法维持表面浪漫实则缺乏真爱的婚姻。

This is what happened to Shi Ci, who divorced his wife of eight years after it became clear to him he had been chosen because he could provide for her, not because she loved him.

这也是施慈的故事。在知道结婚八年的妻子并非出于爱他,而是因为他有能力养家才嫁时,他选择了离婚。

"It was bad for both of us, you need mutual appreciation and love to feel like you have any quality of life," he said.

“这样对双方都不好,我喜欢相互欣赏,爱对方,这样才是有质感的生活,”他说道。

Shi Ci said that for the time being he was not considering marriage again. But he would never say never. 

施慈称,他暂时不考虑再婚,但以后也没准。

"Now I think love is the most important. Only if I have love will I consider marriage."

“现在觉得爱情最重要,有了爱情以后可能才会去考虑结婚。”

2016-06-23

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