Viral Youth Day Video Gets Lukewarm Reception Among Young Chinese

Many say the campaign is high on style and low on substance, and does not faithfully represent the young generation.

Are Chinese youth better off than previous generations? It depends on who you ask.

In a video released Sunday to commemorate Youth Day on May 4, Chinese actor He Bing spoke to the country’s youth, urging them to be aware of their privilege. In a monologue filmed like a parent’s lecture to a child, the 52-year-old actor spoke of the advantages young Chinese enjoy, and which he says people from his time or before would envy.

“You have what we didn’t have — that is, the right to choose,” He said in the video, produced by streaming site Bilibili in cooperation with several domestic media outlets. “You are fortunate to meet such an era, and this era is even more fortunate to meet you.”

The nearly four-minute video is an ode to young Chinese, who are seen in the video singing and dancing, wearing traditional hanfu outfits, competing in esports, cosplaying, and traveling — activities that were largely unimaginable to the young people of previous generations.

But is this all that matters to today’s generation?

Yu Wenle, a 25-year-old primary and middle school teacher in the eastern city of Xiamen, doesn’t think so. He told Sixth Tone that although many young people born in the ’90s are facing mounting pressure in the workplace and job market, this part of the story is absent in the video.

“It (the video) describes society like a paradise, which feels unreal … making the good side visible, but not the bad part,” said Yu, who has recorded a rebuttal to the Youth Day video and uploaded it to Bilibili. “Such encouragement from the older generation is condescending.”  Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.