In China and in many countries around the world, parents’ preference for their male child is a deeply entrenched tradition from feudal age. To the son (man) is concentrated the responsibility to keep the parents as elderly, to enable them to a solemn burial, to make the offerings on their graves for the needs after death, according to the Confucian tradition. Only the son is the sole heir to the family’s estate.
In January 1980, when China’s population was already over one billion, the central government launched the “One Child” policy that tried to plan births with a set of measures to limit one child per couple. There were a number of advantages for those who were limited to a single child, and for those who had more than one child suffered fines and civil restrictions. By promoting the one-child policy, the government certainly had no intention of resurrecting feudal concepts about women’s inferiority, but it ended up reinforcing its inferiority and that is what is happening in China today. If a couple can have only one child, therefore they will want a male son, this being a cultural requirement still deeply rooted in the Chinese people. If, by chance, the baby is a girl, a very serious ethical and cultural problem arises for the couple: if you stay with her, you can no longer have the male child. The sad reality is usually the death or abandonment of the newborn girl.
The number of girls missing would already be in the millions and the causes are easily identifiable: they were victims of infanticides, abortions caused by their parents when they discovered that the fetus was a girl or were abandoned at the crossroads of the streets when they were newborns, the same is true for defective boys. Some parents hide them and do not declare them to the state, in danger of sanctions and imprisonment if they are discovered. The most moneyed pay a heavy fine and are forgiven. The number of abortions is estimated to be around 20 million a year in China.
India, now with 1.13 billion inhabitants, has not taken any birth control action but whatever the policy, it will have the same problem as female infanticide. It is estimated that by 2035, India will pass China in terms of population. Whether or not you adopt policies, don’t ask me how the population of the earth will be fed in the future.
In the afternoon the redhead, Matthew and his wife – all English – and I, we went to the train station from which the bus left to the small town of Huayin. We decided to spend the night in this town and wake up early to climb the Hua Shan. The locals thought I was the guide. Matt spoke Chinese better than I did, I think his wife did too. The hotel was one of the worst I’ve ever stayed in my life for $2.5 per person, no chance of bathing, the English were barely caring, I think.
Matt remembered Mr. Smith in the movie “Matrix”, some friends told me that I remembered Neo also from the “Matrix” or a Chinese actor unknown to me.
In Huayin you could see grandma trying to make a living selling climbing gloves and maps till late of the evening, so much pity. After all not everyone earns retirement in China.
Written by Traveler Ni