Since about two years at least I have been fascinated by the tremendous changes within the Chinese society. After 28 years of China I suddenly realized how much things had changed and how little I had noticed what was going on.
Most of the foreigners, even living in China since many years, have little insight in the Chinese society, the way people think, love, live and how they look at their future. Actually many Chinese also do not fully grasp the many changes in attitudes as they often live within their “box”. Others are bewildered by the sudden changes and feel uncomfortable with the new generations, called the “balinghou and jiulinghou” – the post 80 and post 90 generations. Among Chinese there is a lot of passionate debate on the generation gaps and the new trends. Chinese don’t share much those issues with foreigners as they feel this is “for Chinese only”. On the other hand they are ready to discuss with us once they feel comfortable about it. As many new trends and personal feelings are kept discreet and hidden, many Chinese and foreigners alike do not always realize what is going on around them.
The book will try to address those issues in part, much as a sociological study. It is not my aim to be complete as China has grown into a very complex society and the country is so vast with many local attitudes. The book will be focused on Beijing that is already a city full of contrasts with all the migrants – millions of them – coming from all over the country to work and live here.
The book is not without controversy as many foreigners and Chinese alike can be shocked and doubt that in China “those things exist and Chinese think and act in that way.”
Interestingly enough, my Chinese friends seem more interested in my book than foreigners – as the Chinese are more aware of the controversies.
I often jokingly say: it will not be like all the “Ying and Yang crap you hear from so-called “China specialists”.
My goal – maybe too optimistic – is to finish the draft by the end of this year. I did not even start looking for a publisher… (all suggestions welcome). First version will be in English.
I have collected a lot of information but I still need to work on it all. Currently I look at the influence of Confucianism on the society of today (many Chinese say: as good as no influence).