This undated photo shows a group of young
people in traditional Han-style clothes honouring the tradition of Duanwujie, or
Dragon Boat Festival.
June 19 marked this year's Duanwujie, or Dragon Boat Festival, one of the
most important traditional festivals in China, following the Mid-autumn Festival
and the Spring Festival. But how many people still feel the spirit of the day?
A community in Shanghai last week planned to host a Dragon Boat Festival folk
culture contest, inviting young people to learn how to make festival food zongzi
and fragrant bags, a traditional accessory for the festival. To the organizers'
surprise, only 10 young people agreed to take part. Many others turned down the
invitation, saying that they were too busy to come.
Among those who felt depressed about the current state of the festival
celebration were elders. Ms. Zhang is a retired worker from Shanghai. To
celebrate the festival, Ms. Zhang and her husband prepared delicious food for
their daughter and son-in-law, hoping they could return home for the festival.
However, the young couple simply told their parents that they didn't have time
to do so. Ms. Zhang fears that it will never happen again - this scene of the
whole family sitting together, wrapping zongzi and enjoying their festival
Many young people gave their own explanation for this behavior. Ms. Cao is a
white collar worker living in Shanghai. As for the folk culture contests, she
says that she was not in such activities. Though she recognises that it is
traditional to make Zongzi and wear fragrant bags, she didní»t think it
absolutely necessary to do so, since people can buy these goods at any places.
Ms. Huang, a middle school teacher, argues that the traditional festivals
have been made almost "edible" by businesspeople. Zongzi, moon cakes, they're
all affected the same way: The more cultural content it is assumed to have, the
higher the price it fetches.
Mr. Gong, a civil servant, also agrees that the booming economy is keeping
the traditions away from us. People now become more accustomed to the fast-food
style of life, losing the patience to savour the nutrience of