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“Father’s Prairie, Mother’s River” – the feelings of one billion people on the move, version 1.1

February 25th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Few months ago I made a post, titled, ““Father’s Prairie, Mother’s River” – the feelings of one billion people on the move,” where I talked about the phenomenon of massive urbanization that is taking place in China due to the current ongoing industrial revolution.  A Chinese official has recently forecasted within the next three decades, urbanization will further reduce rural residents down to 400 million.  That’s essentially one billion people on the move within a 60-year span!  I embedded a song which I thought captured the feelings of the many migrants who missed their home.

I recall talking to a Shanghai taxi driver few years ago while heading to the Hongqiao airport from Lujiazhui.  This was around the Chinese New Year.  He was complaining about his neighbor’s home being broken into by some migrant workers.  He thinks they burglarize for money to buy train tickets to return home for not having found work during the year.  He went on to explain some other stresses Shanghai as a city is experiencing due to the influx of workers.  I could sense the social tension that has been created due to this urbanization phenomenon.  At some point in the future, the migrant workers may even be competing with him directly for taxi driver jobs.

Migrant workers are probably more hopeful about their future.  City dwellers are probably much more concerned about protecting their way of life.  (Obviously this is a gross generalization.)  I thought this is an interesting dichotomy.  It also explains about our world a bit.

This difference in this very same attitude exists between developing countries and developed countries.  A factory worker in China may be happily looking forward to buying a new television while an average American fears – well, many things:

  • Unemployment
  • Illegal immigrants
  • Terrorists
  • New taxes

The rich worries about protecting what they have (because all these fears translate into reducing what they have in their minds) while the poor looks forward to the riches.

Regarding “Father’s Prairie, Mother’s River,” here is another rendition by another popular Mongolian Chinese singer, 腾格尔 (Teng Ge’er), during the 2004 Spring Festival show on CCTV.

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