私立東大附中打工 單身為何愛獨居:享受自由和年輕(雙語)




In her tinny flat, which she shares with two cats and a flock of porcelain owls, Chi Yingying describes her parents as wanting to be the controlling shareholders in her life. Even when she was in her early 20s, her mother raged at her for being unmarried. At 28 Ms Chi took 「the most courageous decision of my life」and moved into her own home. Now 33, she relishes the privacy—at a price: her monthly rent of 4,000 yuan ($625) swallows nearly half her salary。

在她和她的兩隻貓以及一堆貓頭鷹瓷器共同居住的蝸居里,Chi Yingying將她的父母描繪成一直想要控制她生活的「大股東」。儘管早在她20歲的時候,她老母就為她未婚一事大動肝火。但是chi小姐還是在28歲時做了「生命中最勇敢的決定」——搬出去自己住。現在她33歲了,可她任然享受隱私——當然這是要付出代價的——她每個月要拿出工資的一半將近4000元人民幣(625美元)來付房租。

In many countries leaving the family home well before marriage is a rite of passage. But in China choosing to live alone and unmarried as Ms Chi has done is eccentric verging on taboo. Chinese culture attaches a particularly high value to the私立新榮高中打工 idea that families should live together. Yet ever more people are living alone。


In the decade to 2010 the number of single-person households doubled. Today over 58m Chinese live by themselves, according to census data, a bigger number of one-person homes than in America, Britain and France combined. Solo dwellers make up 14% of all households. That is still low compared with rates found in Japan or Taiwan (see chart), but the proportion will certainly increase。


The pattern of Chinese living alone is somewhat different from that in the West, because tens of millions of (mainly poor) migrant workers have moved away from home to find work in more prosperous regions of China; many in this group live alone, often in shoeboxes. Yet for the most part younger Chinese living alone are from among the better-off. 「Freedom and new wealth」have broken China』s traditional family structures, says Jing Jun of Tsinghua University in Beijing。


The better-educated under-30-year-olds are, and the more money they have, the more likely they are to live alone. Rich parts of China have more non-wido私立明台高中打工wed single dwellers: in Beijing a fifth of homes house only one person. The marriage age is rising, particularly in big cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou, where the average man marries after 30 and the average woman at 28, older than their American counterparts. Divorce rates are also increasing, though they are still much lower than in America. More than 3.5m Chinese couples split up each year, which adds to the number of single households。


For some, living alone is a transitional stage on the way to marriage, remarriage or family reunification. But for a growing number of people it may be a permanent state. In cities, many educated, urban women stay single, often as a positive choice—a sign of rising status and better employment opportunities. Rural areas, by contrast, have a skewed sex ratio in which men outnumber women, a consequence of families preferring sons and aborting female fetuses or abandoning baby girls. The consequence is millions of reluctant bachelors。


In the past, adulthood in China used, almost without exception, to mean marriage and having children within supervised rural or urban structures. Now a growing number of Chinese live beyond prying eyes, able to pursue the social and sexual lives they choose。


In the long run that poses a political challenge: the love of individual freedom is something that the Chinese state has long tried to quash. Living alone does not have to mean breaching私立東大附中打工 social norms—phones and the internet make it easier than ever to keep in touch with relations, after all. Yet loosening family ties may open up space for new social networks, interest groups, even political aspirations of which the state may come to disapprove。


For now those who live alone are often subject to mockery. Unmarried females are labelled 「leftover women」; unmarried men, 「bare branches」—for the family tree they will never grow. An online group called 「women living alone」 is stacked with complaints about being told to 「get a boyfriend」。


Even eating out can be a trial, since Chinese food culture is associated with groups of people sharing a whole range of dishes. After repeated criticism for dining alone, in 2014 Yanni Cai, a Shanghai journalist, wrote 「Eating Alone」, a book on how singletons can adapt Chinese cuisine to make a single plat市立中正高中打工e a meal in itself. According to tradition, even a frugal Chinese meal comprises 「four dishes and one soup」. A single diner is likely to find that rather too much to stomach。

甚至下館子也成了一個問題,中國的飲食文化是與一群人共享佳肴聯繫起來的。在無數次被批評一個人吃飯之後,在2014年一個上海的妓者Yanni Cai寫了一本名為「吃獨食」的書。該本書旨在為單身飯桶如何在中國的烹調下為自己做上一餐盤可口的飯菜提供指導。根據中國傳統,最「共產黨員「的料理也應該有」四菜一湯「。但對於單身人士來說,吃這麼多菜他們有可能會消化不良。