Young and Restless

November 24, 2008

In World Literature class, I watched a video that showed young Chinese people in China adapting to the rapidly changing economy in China. I answered questions to this video:

 

3.   In what ways do you think Ben Wu, the entrepreneur launching the Internet Café, is representative of the ‘new’ China?

 

The “old” china was a communist society where the government controlled everything that happens in the country, including the businesses and economy in China. However, China is becoming a free market economy by the efforts of many people to start their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. An example is Ben Wu, who also started his own business. He created an internet café, which was pretty uncommon at the time. He got this idea from studying outside of China and experiencing many different cultures and not just one in China. His internet café is a stunning success and many young people are following his example and starting similar businesses like his.

 

8.      Who do you think is the happiest of the young people profiled in this documentary and why?

 

I think that Lu Dong is the happiest from the young people in this video. His aspiration in his life is to own a business and according to the film, he is doing just that. He started an online tailoring business and in the later parts of the video, he states that he actually has employees, the business is showing signs of improvement, and that he is happy with the job he has. Lu Dong’s only significant problem is the relationship between his mother and father, who are divorced. His future is brighter than any of the other young people. A case can be made for Ben Wu with his successful internet café, but he misses his wife, who left him for her own career aspirations. Everyone knows what effect a departed loved one can do to one’s happiness. The other young people face multiple problems. They face family problems, but at the same time, they also face financial and marriage dilemmas. Lu Dong is easily the happiest of the young people interviewed in the video.

 

9.      Why do you think FRONTLINE producers named this program Young & Restless in China? Do you think this is an appropriate title? Why or why not? What other titles would aptly describe this program?

 

I think that the producers named this program Young and Restless in China because of the rapidly changing state of China (Restless) and the people it effects (Young). The young people interviewed in the video are struggling to make a living. These are just a few examples of the total concept that many young people in China are struggling to survive. I think “young” could have another meaning. I think it could also mean that these changes to China are in the “young” stage, meaning these changes are just the beginning. There are more drastic changes to come in the high populated, ever-changing economy of China. The young people are trying restlessly to improve their lives. They are controlled by the tradition of China but they are trying to separate themselves and become more influenced by the traditions outside China. One part of China’s culture is that arranged marriages are never cancelled by the sons/daughters. Miranda Hong, one of the young people interviewed in the video, was involved in an arranged marriage by her parents. However, she refused to follow the tradition. She cancelled the arranged marriage. This shows that young people are tired of the old traditions and they want to change the culture in China for better.

 

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