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Chinese young shrug off marriage plans

China has marriage on its mind — but perhaps not commitment.

中国人心里想着婚姻,但承诺就不一定了。

New figures show that the number of marriages in China has fallen for two straight years, while divorces have continued to climb. The trends — which have their roots in China's one-child policy, its stunning economic rise and the changing role of women at work and at home — have led a new generation to question the traditional role of marriage in Chinese society.

新公布的数据显示,中国登记结婚的人数连续两年下降,而离婚人数则继续攀升。这两种趋势的根源在于中国的计划生育政策、令人震惊的经济崛起和女性不断变化的职场和家庭角色。它们导致新一代质疑婚姻在中国社会中的传统角色。

A discussion of matrimony and women's roles has risen on the internet in China in recent weeks after publication this month of a New York Times article about the decline of marriage in China. In comments on Weibo, a social-media network, many Chinese discussed their lack of marriage plans — and the reasons behind that.

《纽约时报》本月刊登了一篇文章,介绍中国结婚人数减少的现象。随后的这几周,中国的互联网上兴起了对婚姻和女性角色的讨论。在社交媒体网络新浪微博上,很多中国人谈到自己没有结婚的打算,以及这背后的原因。

Of course, many of their comments will sound familiar to people in other countries — perhaps especially to those who are married. But China is in the midst of its own profound social and economic changes, upending traditional notions of love and family. Chinese data — from the data provider CEIC Data and China's National Bureau of Statistics — back up some of the trends with hard figures.

当然,对其他国家的人,大概尤其是对那些已婚人士来说,他们的很多言论听上去很耳熟。但中国正在经历一系列深刻的社会和经济变革,传统的爱情和家庭观念被颠覆。从数据供应商CEIC Data到中国国家统计局提供的有关中国的数据,用确凿的数字支持了部分趋势的真实性。

Living Alone: Average Household Size Is Down

独居:平均家庭规模减小

3.1 people in 2015

4.43 people in 1982

The average number of people in Chinese homes is shrinking for a variety of reasons: fewer children, more seniors living alone and other factors. But some responding to the article cite another reason: the joy of living alone.

中国家庭平均人数减少有多种原因:孩子数量减少、独居老人增多及其他因素。但针对时报的那篇文章,一些人提到了另一个原因:独居的快乐。

From Weibo:

别介懿:After marriage, your life has all kinds of unhappiness. Who doesn't want to pursue a high quality of life?

别介懿:婚后生活各种不爽。谁不想追求优质的生活。

守護_牛奶瓶:I think that if you're going to get married, you need to find someone whom you get along with. Otherwise, two people who spend all their days together as if they are in a war, or if one of them is good at cold violence [emotional cruelty], or the other person is very hypocritical and doesn't give the other person any face, then there is no need to be together. You'll get very tired, and the probability of both sides' being unhappy is very large. Dating for two, three, seven, eight, 10 years is all normal. People getting divorced after decades of going through the ins and outs of daily life is already very common.

守護_牛奶瓶:我觉得,如果结婚的话那要找个契合的,不然两个人在一起天天跟战场或者有一方很擅长冷暴力,或者另一方很矫情,又不给对方面子的话,真没必要在一起。会很累,而且双方婚后不幸福的几率还是蛮大的。谈恋爱的时候忍个两三年,七八年,十年都正常,婚后柴米油盐几十年,过不下去离婚的也已经很正常了。

hongxingstar:I've fought with my parents from childhood until now about this. I too think it is more free being just one person. I don't think I could take it if we talked about romance or marriage!

hongxingstar:从小到大父母一直吵架,我自己也觉得一个人自由,如果谈恋爱或结婚我肯定会受不了!

围观也是个体力活:Loyalty in marriages is ever diminishing, and one can be very happy alone. Why seeking out a burden?

围观也是个体力活:婚姻的忠诚度越来越低,自己能过得很好,干嘛找个累赘?

Hitting the Books: More Master's Students Are Women

用功学习:硕士研究生中女性增加

44.2 percent in 2004 

51.7 percent in 2014

Many women in China once saw marriage as the primary route to economic security. Now Chinese women are increasingly educated and increasingly part of the work force.

曾经,很多中国女性认为婚姻是通向经济保障的主要途径。现在,中国女性的受教育程度越来越高,日渐成为劳动力的一部分。

From Weibo:

心比扎软ii: I think that if in every aspect you are independent, then you will come to find that what will put you most at ease is the money you have in your hand and not the money you depend on someone else for. Marriage is also very troublesome and inconvenient.

心比扎软ii:我觉得只要自己各方面都独立,就会发现能给自己带来踏实的感觉的是手里的钱,而在也不是别人的依靠了,结婚真的也是很麻烦。

morningLAq:Some men's sense of patriarchal is just too much. They think working outside the home all day is very tough, and when they come back they want to lie down as if they're the master. If they have to help out at all, they feel as if they've been asked for the whole world! And their wife has also worked all day, but when she comes back she's like a free housemaid! If you don't clean the house well, then he'll criticize you. You'll have to worry about your husband's having an affair and blaming yourself afterward.

morningLAq:有的男的大男子主义太厉害了,认为他们自己在外面工作一天挺辛苦的,回来就像大爷一样躺着,帮一下都感觉自己救了整个世界!然而妻子也是在外面工作一天回来还得像个免费保姆一样!万一收拾不好家里就得bb了,收拾不好自己还得担心老公出轨之后错在自己。

原來你是我最想留住的圉運:A woman's value should not be reflected through marriage. It's not as if one cannot support oneself. It's not that I don't want to get married, it's just that society's guarantees for women are too few and there are too few good men. Men, your male elders, close friends: They all think that women should get married, have children and care for the family. Wake up, everyone. Times have changed. Why don't you look at yourself first and what your own sons are like!

原來你是我最想留住的圉運:女人的价值不应该体现在婚姻上,自己又不是养活不了自己。不是不想结,是这个社会对女人的保障太少,好男人太少。男人,父辈,及身边亲人,都认为女人就得结婚,生孩子,照顾家庭,都醒醒吧,时代变了,先看看自己、自己的儿子什么样子吧!

Senioritis: China's Population Is Getting Older

老龄化:中国人口走向老龄化

1:12.5 in 1982 

1:7.3 in 2014

The ratio of the elderly to 15-to-64-year-olds is getting narrower. That puts pressure on younger Chinese people in a culture where children traditionally care for their elders.

老年人与15到64岁之间的人口的比例增加。在孩子传统上要赡养长辈的中国文化中,这给年轻一代造成了压力。

From Weibo:

killersara2:In marriage, either there are psychological needs or the elders try to coerce you.

killersara2:结婚要么生理需求,要么长辈逼迫。

寂寞是蓝棒棒的:If it weren't for my parents, I wouldn't get married.

寂寞是蓝棒棒的:如果不是为了父母,我就不会结婚。

Libra_Cy:Actually, it's not that we don't want to get married, it's that we don't want to settle for good enough, but our parents think that we ought to settle. Even the people my age who are already married will always say, "Your expectations are too high, just settle, blah blah blah." it's as if in not marrying, we become criminals. I really have no words. But I don't want to settle either.

Libra_Cy:其实不是不愿结婚了,只是不愿意凑合,可是父母都觉得应该凑合着过,甚至包括那些已经结婚了的同龄人,总会说你眼光太高啊,凑合凑合得了啊,巴拉巴拉一堆,好像不结婚就成罪人了一般,实在无语,但我还是不愿凑合。

很想很想你DYING:This is China. If your parents haven't coerced you into marrying, then it's the gossip that surrounds you that will.

很想很想你DYING:对啊,这是中国,就算是父母都不在没有人逼你结婚,也会有闲言碎语包围着。

Labor Pains: China's Birthrate Is Falling

劳动力之痛:中国出生率下降

22.28 per 1,000 people in 1982

12.37 per 1,000 people in 2014

Birthrates are declining in China despite the end of the one-child policy, as more people choose to delay reproduction or forgo it altogether.

在中国,尽管一孩政策取消,但出生率仍在下降,因为更多的人选择推迟,或者完全放弃生孩子。

From Weibo:

琵琶娘子: I don't want to get married. Life is endless. Why would you want a family?

琵琶娘子:我也不想结婚,人生漫长,为何一定要有家庭。

枫林寒情: Women can earn their own salary and can have children on their own. Why do we need men?

枫林寒情:女人自己能赚钱,也能生孩子 要男人何用?

Source: New York Times

2016-09-24

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