Many migrants live a real life in Beijing, not pretend to do so
Did you have dinner with your college mates or old friends this year in Beijing? Are those who often dine with you your colleagues? Do you usually receive or see off your friends at airports or train stations? And you don’t go to Wukesong Arena to support Beijing’s basketball team, Beijing Ducks, or to Workers’ Stadium to cheer the city’s soccer club, Beijing Guo’an, right?
If your answers to all the questions are positive, you are one of the first-generation immigrants living in Beijing, you don’t have any ancestral property in the city and you are not planning to migrate to a foreign country, in fact, you are just pretending to have a life in Beijing according to a recent article posted on social media platform WeChat.
The article, “In Beijing, 20 million people are pretending to have a life”, was read by about 5 million people in a couple of days and sparked a heated debate among netizens. Essentially, the article says Beijing still belongs to its “native” residents, and outsiders without ancestral property in the city are doomed to keep pursuing their dream — of owning a house. And those who realize this dream will continue to live in the city and those who don’t have to return to their hometowns sooner or later or pretend to live in the capital.
After reading the article, I realized it was full of hasty generalizations based on the author’s personal frustrations of living in Beijing and was surprised that it had created such a stir.
And people who are nostalgic about their hometowns are not necessarily rejecting the Beijing way of life ... we don’t pretend to live in Beijing.