Nearly 500 pairs of twins and triplets descended on Beijing’s Young Pioneers Park yesterday for the Eighth Annual Twins Culture Festival. Events included crawling competitions for baby twins, twins doubles badminton, a “make-up parade”, tug-of-war competitions.
Twins in China are exempt from the one-child policy, and currently the percentage of the country’s births resulting in twins stands at 1.1 percent. And recently, hospitals in Guangzhou were investigated for providing infertility drugs to healthy women, in a bid to stimulate ovulation and increase the chances of having twins. Which, incidentally, has been going on for years.
The Twins Culture Festival seems like a strange sideshow that dances around the issue of birth policy in China, which includes troubling problems like: male-to-female population imbalance, child trafficking, intense pressure placed on children to succeed and provide for parents and grandparents, and depression amongst empty-nesters.
Not to mention a general spiritual malaise prevalent in only-childs, as exemplified by the early work of this guy.
Novelist Xinran writes about the subject of only-childs in The Telegraph:
And what of the generation the one-child policy has spawned? Children from the biggest 40 cities are living in the three-screen world (television, computer and mobile), wearing global designer brands, travelling first class, and buying houses and cars for their one or two years’ study overseas. For these young “super-rich”, price has become no object, some even flying to and from Hong Kong for a day’s shopping.
It’s hard to conceive of them becoming China’s next generation of entrepreneurs, when, unlike their parents and grandparents, many have never touched a cooker and barely know how to make their own beds…
…Today, more than half the number of divorces are between people in their twenties and thirties, most of them from the first generation of the single-child policy. Many of this generation don’t even want children. Some don’t like the idea of being ousted from their position within the family; others say they simply don’t have the time to care for a child.
So count thy blessings, China’s twins and triplets. By some quirk of nature, you’ve been fortunately spared from facing the gamut of only-child problems, and never have to want for another readily available person to play Wii Tennis with.