Chinese Corner: Parenting with resentment, whistleblowing, and the lifesaver of Nanjing Suicide Bridge

Becoming parents while resenting parents

“父母皆祸害”小组十一年 那批80后也为人父母了
11 years into the existence of an “anti-parents” online community, its members, born in the 1980s, have become parents
By Sū Wéichǔ 苏惟楚
January 21, 2019

For outsiders, the “anti-parents” group on Douban, whose mission is to “resist damage caused by ultra-conservative, ignorant, and unreasonable parents,” is a toxic online community where angsty teens congregate to make groundless accusations against their parents. But for its members, many of whom who have grown up in fraught parent-child relationships that are often defined by abuse and manipulation, the group is the only safe space for them to share stories, seek comfort, and try to overcome emotional trauma inflicted by parents without the fear of being judged and condemned for their resentment.

Eleven years into its existence, the community has seen people come and go. The first wave of members who built the board from scratch are now grappling with parenting themselves. This profile delves into some of the members’ troublesome relationships with their parents and discovers the lifelong impact that’s had, especially in the way they interact with their own kids.


The immense toll of whistleblowing

Pessimist Huazong: Struggling to shake off the burden of being a “hero”
By Gāo Yīchēn 高伊琛
January 24, 2019

Last year, activist blogger “Boss Hua lost the Monkey King’s magic wand” (@花总丢了金箍棒 huāzǒng Diūle jīn gū bàng, hereafter Boss Hua) knocked China’s entire hotel industry down a peg by publishing a video exposing problems of hygiene at several luxury hotels. Since then, this “hero” heralded by the public has become an enemy of the country’s hospitality industry.

In this profile, Boss Hua addresses what drives him to wage battles against corrupt aspects of the society. “I’d rather to be someone who’s still asleep,” Boss Hua says, a reference to the great Chinese writer Lu Xun 鲁迅. “But the thing is, I’m already awake, and the wokeness keeps me frustrated.”

nanjing bridge suicide

Lifesaver at Nanjing’s suicide bridge

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge’s suicide stopper
By Lǐ Yǐngdí 李颖迪
January 23, 2019

For decades, the Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing has served as an eerie magnet for people contemplate ending their lives. According to local police, since its establishment in 1960, over 2,000 people have attempted suicide by jumping off the bridge, with very few surviving.

Amid an overwhelming sense of sadness, Chen Si 陈思, a 51-year-old migrant worker, has been waging a long-term battle to stop people from plunging to their deaths. Since 2003, he has spent every weekend patrolling the bridge, trying to persuade every suicidal person he sees to choose life.

An embalmer s criminal past and his endeavor to empower ex offenders

An embalmer’s criminal past and his endeavor to empower ex-convicts

After release from jail, he started a “dead people” business
By Dù Wénwén 杜雯雯
January 16, 2019

After spending 23 years in prison due to various crimes ranging from violence to theft, Fan San knows all about the discrimination faced by job-seekers with a criminal record.

After constant rejection, Fan eventually became an embalmer, an occupation that few people in China are willing to take on due to the deeply seated idea that dealing with death is taboo.

Fan’s frustration eventually led him to open a small-scale funeral home in Shenyang, which he branded as a welcome place for former inmates, who, he believes, deserve a second chance to reintegrate into society.

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