Curious kids

Of course all kids are curious and their growth depends on exploring the world. That is not what I meant though. It is that whenever I see a child in China I wonder about its social makeup. The one-child policy in China was implemented in the 1980s and has just ended. As a result, two generations of children have grown up in a tapering family tree. The rest of the world continues to have uncles and aunts, cousins and brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. Not in China. If both your parents were single children, then you have no uncles or aunts, no cousins. You and your parents have no brothers or sisters. Your parents have no nephews and nieces. And it is not just one or two isolated families, it is the only way of family for everyone in China. Forget all about the extended families of old sagas or Crazy Rich Asians. This loneliness is the reality of China. My mind works overtime at the simple sight of children playing in a park.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

9 thoughts on “Curious kids”

  1. I have a hard time wrapping my head around this — on the one hand with centuries of hunger exacerbated by over-population, I get the one-child policy. (Warning: I might have four hands suddenly). That it led to a return to female infanticide shouldn’t have surprised anyone but it did. That men ended up with no one to marry should have been obvious from the beginning. The absence of an extended family? Well, in my own case, if I had not had a big extended family, I would probably not be alive today. BUT like these Chinese children, I am the last one. No siblings (any more). Cousins dispersed or deceased. Aunts and uncles gone, but the big difference is that I DID have them. I think it’s a lot different to be in one’s sixties and alone than to grow up without the connections and lessons of siblings and aunts and cousins. So, yes. That’s at least four hands, I guess. In the 80s, the families in the countryside were not held to that policy at all…I wonder now.


  2. From what I’ve read, they didn’t institute the one child policy humanely. On the other hand are religions which still preach God wants you have as many children as you can. It’s a sticky-wicket.


  3. Anything that hinges on extremism sets things off- balance…..and this is case in point…..I never gave it this much thought about missing aunts and nieces and nephews and uncles…..though come to think of it we aren’t anyway better…we may have them all but we’re engrossed only in our own worlds of our immediate nuclear families. The rat-race is killing it all…


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