“Sitting the Month” – a Gift or Torture?


After Mother’s Day, it is still a hot topic on China’s social media: how could Kate Middleton appear in public, high heels and all, only 10 hours after giving birth? In China, new moms are confined to their beds for weeks after giving birth. This tradition, called ‘sitting the month’, comes with many rules. Amongst them: no showering, no drinking cold water, no leaving the … Continue reading “Sitting the Month” – a Gift or Torture?

Grandparenting, not Parenting


One of my oldest friends Judy just delivered a baby boy a couple of months ago. As a Shanghainese woman, she followed her life path arranged by her parents: no boy in high school, went to college, found a boyfriend after graduation, got married after dating for two years and then had a son when she reached 26 years old. Everything seems perfect. But when … Continue reading Grandparenting, not Parenting

Making Allowance for Wealth


I read an article in a local newspaper the other day that said a 10-year-old pupil in Shanghai had saved more 200,000 yuan ($30,000) in her bank account. What’s more, a couple of her class-mates got allowances from their parents that were in the tens of thousands of yuan. Maybe her parents are rich enough to give her anything she wants, or maybe they are … Continue reading Making Allowance for Wealth

Parents Responsible for Shengnu Issue in China


In China, single women over 25 years old are now creatively called shengnu. With exactly the same sound as the Chinese word for saint woman, shengnu actually means leftover women. Last week, I had a chance to talk with 10 attractive and successful unmarried women in this age group. Each had a different reason for not being married, but they all had one thing in … Continue reading Parents Responsible for Shengnu Issue in China