As a university teacher, I'm on the forefront of Chinese young peoples' awakening to the world.  In grade school and primary school, their lives are a bland regimen of study and androgynous uniforms and prohibitions on dating.  Once they get to college, they realize that the hard part is over, their parents aren't breathing down their necks, and they can wear and do whatever they want.  And they do.

Of course, with each successive generation, the previous generations grumble in their beards about the current generation's lack of morals, fashion sense, social responsibility, etc.  And looking at the current generation, dubbed the Post-90's generation, they certainly appear more open, flamboyant, and narcissistic than previous generations.  But are they really?

I'm at the age where I still remember my teenage years clearly but I'm also experienced enough to realize that most of the issues, angst, and turmoil that I and all other teenagers went through was mostly lame crap, but when we were teenagers, we couldn't see beyond ourselves and trivial issues were all-consuming to our self-focused minds.  Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, ad infinitum went through this too, and the current generation in China is also going through this.  They simply have more tools to indulge their narcissistic tendencies and more opportunities for rebellion.  The sauce changes but the dish remains the same.

So next time you see someone who looks like this walking down the street, remember that you went through the same fog of youth.  It doesn't mean that everything is okay, but we were all in the same boat once, and in the end, it always sails to the same destination, no matter what the old geezers say.


12/11/2010 22:21

Great point.We all suffer the growing pains.


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