Chinese culture has long been respectful of their elders, but now it’s a
law. Government officials have passed a mandate called the “Protection of the
Rights and Interests of Elderly People.” It lays out nine statutes that compel
kids to tend to the “spiritual needs” of the elderly.
instance, the law states that kids should visit their parents “often.” What “often”
means is anyone’s guess, but we’ll bet it’s more than some kids’ once-every-few-years
habit to ask their folks for money.
all parents around the world complain that they don’t see their kids enough.
And in China, at least, some kids would actually like to see their parents more
often, too—it’s just that they live too far away from them, and can’t take time
off work. To address this, the law also says that companies should give
employees time off for parental visits.
economy is flourishing, and lots of young people have moved away to the cities
and away from their aging parents in villages,” Dang Janwu, vice director of
the China Research Center on Aging, told the New
York Times. “This is one of the consequences of China’s urbanization. The
social welfare system can answer to material needs of the elders, but when it
comes to the spiritual needs, a law like this becomes very necessary.”
appreciate the sentiment … but how are you going to enforce this? Will there be
fines or jail time for not visiting your folks? Apparently not—the law specifies no punishment for offenders. It was created purely to add some added
pressure to the guilt trip your parents already lay on you.
though: What if your mom beat you? Or your dad is a serial killer? Should these
kids also have to pay their respects? Even though a law like
this would never get passed in the States, barring major exceptions, we kinda
like it (and our moms and dads approve, too).