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What are China's most popular online slang terms as we approach the end of the decade? One popular choice could be "Life is a cup, it's up to you to decide whether it's a drinking cup or a toothbrush cup."
Drinking cup (beiju) is a homophone for "tragedy" in Chinese, while toothbrush cup (xiju) is homophone for "comedy". There's a whole range of beiju vs xiju debates running across the post-80s and post-90s' online talk. In the background, however, lurks something that's far less funny.
While the remarkable development in China over the past 10 years has brought a range of opportunities, young people are struggling with pressures that came with them.
Some of their first observations on life are influenced by changes in education.
Compared with the beginning of the decade, getting into a university now is much easier. The number of college students went from about 5 million in 2000 to over 27 million in 2009.
What they do after graduating is another story. The employment rate of college grads has fallen from 80 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2009 (Ministry of Education stats) in the same period. The increased enrolment policy that took effect in 1999 opened the path of dreams for many, but the bridge to employment led to a narrower path for more.
Individual incomes are growing--that's the xiju; but our houses are getting smaller--that's the beiju.
21世纪初,我们告诉父母,“不要操心我的学习,我会取得好成绩,努力赚大钱,以后给你们买大大别墅!” 现在,我们即将挥别十年,我们对父母说的话也变成了,“对不起,爸妈,如果没人帮忙,我甚至连一个卫生间都买不起。”
At the beginning of the decade, we told our parents, "Don't worry about my scores, I'll be good and make a fortune and buy you a big villa!". Now, at the end, it's, "Sorry, Mom and Dad, I can't even get a bathroom without some help."
根据MyCOS 的调查显示,2008北京高校毕业生的平均月收入达到2700元,差不多是10年前的两倍。同时,北京住房每平米均价达到13100元,差不多是10年的三倍。这就好比你骑着一辆自行车去追赶一辆法拉利。
The average monthly income of Beijing college grads in 2008, according to MyCOS, has 2,700 yuan, or about double what it was 10 years ago. A square meter of Beijing housing now costs 13,100 yuan on average, or about triple the cost a decade ago. It's like trying to ride a motorbike to catch a Ferrari.
To get a break from the overcrowded job market and the shoe-box housing, we look to the Internet and the much bigger virtual world. That means a world of movies and games just lying there, out in front of us. So, a beiju becomes a xiju.
The economic and social development have given people greater variety in education, work, travel, entertainment and information, but the more opportunities people have access to, the fiercer the competition. When some young people look at that, they also see it as catalyst for social improvement.
For example, Xu Yue, 20, is majoring in Cambodian at Beijing Foreign Studies University. She's also studying English as a second major and taking Japanese courses in her spare time.
Ten years ago, she notes, people might have felt relieved to get admitted to college, and they went on to settle down with a job in their hometown. Now, however, we're pressed to learn more.
"Without the competition, maybe we'd be satisfied with the status quo, and willing to be ordinary," says Xu.
So, is life a beiju or xiju? In some cases, it appears to be a matter of choice in how you view it and how you deal with the pressure.
In any case, there's more progress in store for the next decade. Do we just sit there, sighing and complaining about it? Or, do we make full use of the richer resources and advanced technology to enjoy a more colorful life? It's still up to you.
2009-12-31 14:15 编辑:kuaileyingyu
  • Guest 说:

    i love this story or statement whatever it's very realistic and encouraging

    2009-12-31 18:47 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 沙发
  • Guest 说:

    yes, it's still up to us

    2010-01-02 10:53 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 板凳
  • Guest 说:

    so who can tell me what does this sentense mean: out in front of us? and how do i ues it?

    2010-01-03 09:01 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 地板
  • 柠檬仔 说:


    2010-01-05 12:33 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 4 楼
  • Guest 说:


    2010-01-21 21:54 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 5 楼
  • Guest 说:

    In any case, it's still up to ourselfs.

    2010-01-24 11:22 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 6 楼
  • Guest 说:

    very impressive about this statement , i know that my future is not just a dream

    2010-01-28 00:27 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 7 楼