Sunday, October 18, 2009

Word of the Day: Kenlao

Young people in China depend on their parents to foot the bill for their weddings. This doesn't just mean the ceremony and lavish banquet, but also the apartment and possibly a car too.

This could end up costing hundreds of thousands to even millions of yuan. What 20-something has that kind of dough in their bank accounts?

So, getting your parents to pay for these marital items is called 啃老 or ken (3) lao (3), which literally means "to chew your parents' food", but now means "spending your parents' money to live your own lives".

In a recent newspaper article, a 27-year-old woman who married earlier this month said that her husband's parents paid the 100,000 RMB (14,652) wedding and her parents bought her a 200,000 RMB car as a dowry.

She even revealed that her mother-in-law took her husband to Hong Kong to get her a wedding ring that cost 8,800 RMB.

Another said she wouldn't marry her boyfriend unless he could get a good apartment between the east Third and Fourth Ring roads, which would cost at least 1 million RMB.

While it's considered a Chinese tradition for parents to pay for all these things, apartments didn't cost this much before, and cars were practically non-existent in their parents' generation. Are these young people asking for too much, or are they being spoiled by their parents? And how do these parents manage to save so much money?

It really does sound like the younger generation is eating up their parents' hard-earned money...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is the generation of 'cry babies' as albert cheng commended on the youth in hong kong. he cited a young couple of professionals complained about the housing price in hong kong being out of reach. despite working hard all the time they are still unable to make enough for down payment of an apartment.