Saturday, November 10, 2007
Going to KTV or karaoke is not my thing for a past time, but for many young Chinese it's something they don't mind splurging their meagre salaries on periodically.
I didn't understand why they liked cramming into a small windowless room, and sit there for hours listening to others sing or croon themselves.
But I do now.
Watching my colleagues last night, many of them sprang into life, revealing another side of them I hadn't seen before. Shy or quiet people suddenly burst out into shouts or singing along loudly. Closet singers became stage performers with amazing voices.
For them this was their brief moment in the spotlight and admired by their friends.
Most of these twenty-somethings live at home and their apartments are too small to have this kind of entertainment. Perhaps their parents find this frivolous. Others room with one or a few other people and need to escape their matchbox-sized rooms.
At work, they are told to obey the boss and do whatever he tells them to do. Many don't look happy in the office, just trying to complete their workload for the day, the week, and then live for the weekend.
So KTV for them is the best and most cost-effective way to spend an evening. They can eat and drink as much as they want and sing their hearts out, perform their favourite singer's songs and have a few laughs.
In a way it's a sad state of affairs when young people pay to have fun in a small room. But KTV gives them an outlet in empowering them to express themselves any damn way they please.