To celebrate my parents spirits joining together once again, I am offering a collection of my essays from my university students. My parents always encouraged us to get an education. My mother had to quit school at 12 years old and go to work in a laundry to help support her mother and brothers. She told me, “Get an education, they can never take it away from you.” My father was the first person in his family to graduate high school. I am very proud of being an educator in China for a dozen years.
Chinese Dreaming: The collected thoughts of China’s Millenials
Available Internationally in Twelve Countries, including:
China’s over three hundred million Millennials remain relatively unknown internationally. They are the wellspring for the Chinese Dream. Chinese, Dreaming is a collection of writing and cultural observations about modern China selected from thousands of university students. Their lives are integrated with the digital realms of the Information Age. But China’s younger generation remains a mystery outside China.
While working in China at two top universities for twelve years, I tried to inspire this amazing generation to find their voice and express their ideas by merging ancient literary traditions with digital native cyberspace sensibilities, such as in the following:
…We hang ourselves on a web called “www”. Social networks boom into our life. We must control it, or be controlled. We are eager to be unique, but also to assimilate. We harbor big dreams either out of ambitiousness or ignorance…
The older generations often view the post-80s/90s Millennials as spoiled and egotistical calling them “strawberries” – pretty but easily bruised; many in their grandparents’ generation go so far as to call them mí làn – rotten and debauched. Over one third are supported by their parents after they graduate as they search for their modern identity. In their own words:
…We are decadent, because society never admits, what we do is well done. We feel depressed, so we choose silence. We are degenerate, because we do not know how to be accepted by society. So we choose to disintegrate…
China’s Millennials are a societal bridge between the interconnected worlds of Chinese traditional culture and westernized global culture, and readers will be fascinated with their prose and poetry from their halcyon days as university students, such as:
…Time passed soundlessly. We have already experienced a quarter of our lives. We were born in 1989, when the student unrest happened…
This is the bohemian generation, and this is the madness generation,…this is also the self-fulfilling generation. Our country, our world is suffering from difficulties and hardships, believe in our generation. We can change the world; we can create a new world.
…Most of our generation’s heroes are just students. In the Yangtze River, the waves behind drive the waves that roll on before. We are the emerging power. Chinese society awaits our creativity and intelligence to continue progressing…
This collection contains the writing of well over five hundred of China’s Millennials. Now, more than anytime in history it is critical for the world to try and understand the thinking of China’s future leaders. The incredible aspirations and life stories revealed in Chinese, Dreaming offer unique insights into China’s unfolding relationship with the world.