Some Choose Not to Go Home for the New Year

February 12, 2010 10:22 am Last Updated: February 22, 2010 5:37 pm

The Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, and the number of home-bound passengers has exceeded 600 million in the past ten days—8.5 percent more than last year. At the same time, there are also those who are reluctant to go home. Xinhua News interviewed some of them.

Zhao, from a village in central China, has been working in Beijing for more than ten years. He hasn’t gone home for the holidays several times. In the eyes of the folks back home, he said, whoever has a job in Beijing is considered a very successful businessman. However, considering the cost of living in Beijing, Zhao does not really make that much, and it is quite expensive for him to go home once a year.

The cost of traveling will not be Zhao’s only expense if he goes home. “The villagers all know that I work in Beijing. If I didn’t bring lots of presents or many cash gifts when I visit relatives and friends, I would lose face!” Zhao said. “I’ve tried very hard to save up some money, and I don’t want to spend it that way.”

In the end, Zhao decided to go home and bought his tickets. “I want my parents to be happy,” he said.

As a graduate student in Beijing, Xiaohe didn’t want to go home because she finds it boring. “Everyday we just visit relatives, eat, and play cards.” Those things don’t make the holiday joyful for her.

So instead, she rented a house in Beijing and persuaded her parents to come visit her. She plans to take her parents to see the Imperial Palace, temple fairs, plays, and Peking ducks. “My parents are frugal and don’t travel much. I know they were excited when I told them I would show them around,” she said.

This year Ms. Zhang also decided not to go home. “I’ll be 30 years old after the New Year. My parents will nag me about still being single,” she said. She also doesn’t find much to say to her old friends, she said. “Most of them are married with kids.” She will be traveling with her single friends to Korea.

Most of those who choose not to go home for the Chinese New Year actually struggle a lot before making the decision, according to Xinhua, and they tend to feel a bit helpless and regretful.

Read the original Chinese article.