Mimi and Life in China

Joanna Psaros

25 January 2021

Photo by Dimitris.s12 on Pexels.com

1.Firstly, can you tell me a little about your family and your upbringing? (And your age if that’s not too rude a question!)

I am at my 30s right now. And just like other Chinese people at the similar age, I am the only child in my family. I grew up in a residential kindergarten (children live in the kindergarten with others from Monday to Saturday and go home on Sunday) when my parents studied and worked in the US and Beijing until I went to a preschool kindergarten. I was only 6 years old when I enrolled to primary school, so I am always the youngest student in class from primary school to high school. 

2. What was your schooling like?

The school life is quite normal but with a lot of fun, because at that time, students were not under dramatic pressure of competition and we do not HAVE to attend other tutorial classes after school, which is the normal routine for recent kids. I love sports and dancing, and was a member of school dancing team as well as student union.

3. Can you describe love and dating in China? From your time living in Australia, did you observe any differences?

For the Chinese young generation, there are lots of options for food and entertainment in China. Hotpot and BBQ are quite popular, as well as some online famous cafes or restaurants which are posted and recommended on social media, like Weibo, Tik Tok, the RED and other platforms. Take me as an example, I would love to go out for a dinner after work, sometimes grab a drink. In the weekends, I go to see a movie or musical for a dating. I didn’t find significant difference between China and Australia. In Australia, we went to wine bars, buffets, and live shows. Although we all do the same thing, but I think Aussie people are much more enthusiastic. 

4. What is the biggest misconception outsiders have about China?

As the ordinary people, we do enjoy our lives. Not like the news posted on the website or other social media, we are experiencing a rapidly developing era, with lots of high-tech convenient for the public. It is safe to walk on streets during the late nights ( I do feel much safer than in Australia), and we rarely worry about being injured by weapons randomly. We are kind and warm-hearted, and educated to protect environments. We are not rude and we do not like littering. All the Chinese people love to collaborate with others to develop together and get a win-win.

5. What is more important? Economic welfare and health, or civil and political rights?

For me, I consistently put the health as the most vital one. As the precondition of welfare and rights is to be alive. If you are not healthy, all the OUTSIDE THINGS are null.

6. Do you have any Chinese friends who are gay, bisexual or transgender? In your opinion, what is the general attitude towards this group in Chinese society?

Yes. I support the LGBT group actually. Although LGBT is not officially supported by the legislation, but the public do not discriminate against them. My friends do get the support and kindness from their family and friends. Maybe some elders do not understand, especially some bad news of them are released, but the public are trying their best to embrace and help the LGBT group.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

[China has a mixed record when it comes to LGBTQI rights. For example, see:


The Conversation

7. What makes women in your country unique?

More and more Chinese people realise female rights. Although it still can be seen a glass ceiling for females in the professional areas, but the situation is going better. And a lot of young generation, especial the young men would love to participate in the housework and child-raising, which helps the women better balance their career and family. Some females are immersed into work or celibatarian, and now they won’t be measured and can enjoy the life they like since the society is no longer take marriage and childbearing as women’s responsibility.

8. Who are your heroes?

Those ordinary people who put all their soul and heart into give the family and society a better life.

9. Can you remember the best piece of advice your mother told you?

To always choose what you want and follow the heart.

10. What are your concerns and hopes for the world’s future?

Peace and love. 

11. What are your concerns and hopes for your own future?

To have a good body, to do my favourite work, and to enjoy my life.

12. How has Covid affected your country? 

At the early period, we do suffer from the Covid and kept worrying about the medical staff and patients. But we can see the effort all Chinese people do to help the country. Every walks of life tried to do what they can do, the doctors, nurses, food deliverers, drivers, builders, officers. And the most important, all ordinary people strictly followed the instructions, control themselves not to make troubles. Everyone made their best effort to control the pandemic, and that’s why the Chinese society can recover so quickly. During the pandemic, we’ve seen cohesion, patriotism, empathy and execution.

13. In one sentence, what do you believe human rights to be?

Human rights is to respect lives, others’ and our own.

14. In your experience, have you ever been treated unfairly by people in authority?

A: No.

15. Finally, what makes you happy?

A: To do the work I like, to enjoy my life with my family and friends.

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