Have a Good Family Life

As a commercialized holiday, Mother’s Day has come to be associated with shopping for flowers and chocolates, or staying home to fix Mom breakfast in bed. However, two recent studies by the Beijing-based Market Research Center show that middle-class Chinese families prefer taking their mothers on trips during this holiday, instead of throwing them an elaborate party.

The study found that people born between 1980 and 2000 accounted for more than 70 percent of participants who preferred going out for fun with family during Mother’s Day weekend. Respondents also said they planned and did activities together and shared feelings while traveling.

  According to the center’s survey released May 1 , 90 percent of respondents believed gatherings should include both the maternal and paternal sides of their family. Parents and their children should start the gathering with a pleasant dialogue and end it with a gift.

Ming Pao Daily — The findings also suggested that younger generations believed in equality between men and women, sharing household chores and good communication.

“I know my mom has helped me a lot since I was young,” said 15-year-old student Xu Jingjing. “But I don’t think we really need to celebrate Mother’s Day.”

Xinhua — This year, Shanghai authorities have introduced a new way for residents to spend time with their mothers on Mother’s Day: By bringing them along to explore the city . Meanwhile, the Liaoning Department of Commerce says travel agencies have scheduled many tours that target traveling families because they have seen an increase in inquiries about such tours .

Last year, almost 90 million people traveled on business or pleasure during the holiday, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This year, around 100 million are expected to travel by train or plane . Meanwhile, local businesses have planned special activities for Mother’s Day . A shopping mall in Shanghai has opened a “baby care zone” with pediatricians and nursing facilities for mothers with young children. Other malls are planning morning shows featuring clowns and magicians.

These events may be vital to some families high up in China’s economic food chain because they lack traditional family values, said Hemingway Wong Wai-yin , head of Asia Market Intelligence. He added that more than 50 percent of respondents to the center’s survey said they did not want to make extra effort to spend time with their mothers.

“High-income families tend to interact less with their parents, because either the parents are busy making money or the children are too preoccupied by work and other issues,” Wong said. “We might be seeing a generation of young adults who share little sense of responsibility or closeness toward their family.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has seen an increase in recent years of people traveling during Mother’s Day . Last year, around 16 percent more tourists traveled on Mother’s Day than the previous year, according to Edward Yau , senior manager at Hong Kong Tourism Board’s regional office.

  “It is possible that certain demographics have discovered how meaningful it is to take their mothers on a trip,” Yau said. “Also, mothers who receive gifts or other tokens [of affection] from their children may be more open to the idea of traveling .”

Despite the number of Hong Kong residents and tourists traveling during Mother’s Day increasing and Chinese parents shifting toward taking trips instead of throwing large parties, this year’s holiday did not seem to focus much on spending money .

“I agree that we choose to go out with our mom because we can share stories and get closer to each other,” Xu said. “On Mother’s Day, I would like to spend time quietly with my mother.”

– Lu Qi ( China Daily )

Article by: Jane Wang <jane_wang@chinad