Transcript: Only Me Generation | Nov 13, 2018

Fast clips show people walking on the streets in China.

Alan is in his late thirties, with short straight black hair and wears a blue shirt.

He says MY NAME IS ALAN, I WAS BORN ON JULY 10TH 1978.
I AM THE FIRST GENERATION OF CHINA'S ONE CHILD POLICY.
I AM A TRAVEL WRITER.

Matao is in her late thirties, with straight black hair in a bob cut. She wears a white top.

She says MY NAME IS MATAO. I WAS BORN IN JAN, 1979.
I AM NOW A UNIVERSITY TEACHER, I AM THE FIRST GENERATION OF ONE CHILD POLICY.

Lilian is in her late thirties, with long wavy black hair and wears glasses and a white shirt.

She says MY NAME IS LILIAN. I WAS BORN ON DEC 14TH 1978.
I AM THE FIRST GENERATION OF ONE CHILD POLICY. I AM NOW WORKING IN THE TOWN PLANNING DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

Yan is in his late thirties, bald and clean-shaven.

He says MY NAME IS YAN. I WAS BORN IN 1978.
I AM NOW WORKING IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY.

Ada is in her late thirties, with shoulder length layered black hair and wears a black tank top.

She says MY NAME IS ADA, I WAS BORN ON SEP 14TH, 1979.
I AM THE FIRST GENERATION OF ONE CHILD POLICY.

Lucy is in her late thirties, with long straight black hair with bangs in a half ponytail.

She says MY NAME IS LUCY. I WAS BORN IN 1979.
I AM A PRODUCT OF THE ONE CHILD POLICY.

A red certificate with golden characters appears on screen with the caption "One Child Honorary Certificate."

The narrator says IN CHINA, AFTER THE BIRTH OF THEIR ONLY CHILD, EACH FAMILY IS PRESENTED WITH THIS CERTIFICATE, IT MEANS PARENTS WILL RECEIVE A BONUS PAYMENT OR EXTRA HOLIDAYS OR SIMPLY KEEP THEIR JOBS SECURE FOR A WHILE. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? WHAT SORT OF THE GENERATION IS CREATED AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WHOLE WORLD IS ONLY ABOUT YOU?

A caption reads "A protected generation."

Alan says I AM THE PRIDE OF MY WHOLE FAMILY.

The caption changes to "A spoilt generation."

Lilian says I NEVER COOKED...EVEN NOW.

The caption changes to "A lonely generation."

Lucy says IT IS TRUE, YOU WILL BE MUCH HAPPIER WITH A COMPANION.

The caption changes to "A lost generation."

Ada says WE ARE LIKE SHEEP, WE DO WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING...
THAT'S WHY I CHOSE TO STUDY OVERSEAS.

The caption changes to "A dependent generation."

Yan says MY DAD CONTINUED TO LOOK AFTER ME ONCE I REACHED MY 18TH BIRTHDAY.
I KEPT RELYING ON HIM AFTER I WAS 18.

The caption changes to "A selfish generation."

Matao says WE ALL LIKE TO BE CARED RATHER THAN CARE FOR OTHERS

The title of the show reads "Only me generation: an introspective look into China's Only Child Policy, by Sophie Zhang."

The narrator says IN 1978, CHINA EXPERIENCED TWO MAJOR EVENTS.
ONE WAS THE ECONOMIC REFORM, WHICH ALLOWED SOME PEOPLE TO GET RICH. IRONICALLY THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE TO THE COMMUNIST VALUES OF EQUALITY FOR ALL AND SHARING WITH ALL. THE SECOND EVENT WAS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ONE CHILD POLICY. CHINA WAS THE FIRST AND REMAINS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT HAS USED FORCE TO CONTROL ITS POPULATION. THIS POLICY HAS TOTALLY CHANGED CHINA'S TRADITIONAL FAMILY STRUCTURE. IN 1979 – I WAS AMONG THE FIRST GENERATION OF BABIES BORN INTO THIS UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT.

Pictures of the narrator as a baby appear.

The narrator says MY GRANDMA WAS SO DISAPPOINTED TO FIND OUT THAT I WAS A GIRL, SHE REFUSED TO VISIT MY MUM IN HOSPITAL. TWO YEARS LATER, MY MUM FELL PREGNANT AGAIN. OBEYING THE GOVERNMENT'S POLICY, SHE HAD AN ABORTION. I LOST MY BABY BROTHER AND BECAME PART OF WHAT CHINA IS NOW FAMOUS FOR – THE ONE CHILD POLICY. MORE THAN 30 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE POLICY WAS INTRODUCED. THE POLICY HAS ITS SUPPORTERS AND ITS CRITICS. BOTH CAMPS HAVE TOLD THEIR STORIES. BUT NO ONE HAS EVER ASKED US, THE PRODUCTS OF THE ONE CHILD POLICY, HOW WE FEEL ABOUT BEING THE ONLY CHILD.

Ada says I THINK THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE OF BEING THE ONLY CHILD IS THAT I NEVER SUFFERED FROM ANYTHING.

Matao says ALL THE BEST RESOURCES AT HOME ARE ALL OURS.

Alan says WITHOUT THOSE RESOURCES, I CAN'T STUDY OVERSEAS OR DO WHAT I WANT.

Lilian says WHEN I WAS STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY, ALL MY ROOMMATES HAD SIBLINGS. I THOUGHT THEY WERE NOT THE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE LIKE ME.

Yan says ALL THE LOVE AND HOPE ARE ON MY SHOULDERS.

Lucy says WE HAVE BETTER TEAM SPIRIT COMPARED TO THOSE WHO HAVE SIBLINGS.

Matao says THE DISADVANTAGE IS WE ARE QUITE FRAGILE. THIS FRAGILE COMES FROM NO COMPETITION.

Ada says WE ARE THE ONLY ONE AT HOME, NO BROTHERS OR SISTERS. WE HAVE NO IDEAS OF SHARING AND CARING. WE NEVER EXPERIENCED THE JOY OF A BIG FAMILY.

Lucy says WE HAVE A LACK OF LIFE EXPERIENCE. WHEN THERE IS ONLY ONE CHILD AT HOME, OUR PARENTS TRY TO PROTECT US AS MUCH AS THEY CAN.

Yan says WHEN PARENTS GET OLD, A COUPLE WILL HAVE TO LOOK AFTER FOUR OLD PEOPLE. WE WILL FACE LOTS OF PRESSURE THEN.

(music plays)

The narrator says THE ONE-CHILD POLICY OFFICIALLY RESTRICTS MARRIED, URBAN COUPLES TO HAVING ONLY ONE CHILD. IT WAS CREATED BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO ALLEVIATE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, AND AUTHORITIES CLAIM THAT THE POLICY HAS PREVENTED 400 MILLION BIRTHS FROM 1979 TO 2011.

Alan says FOR MYSELF, I REALLY WANT TO HAVE AN OLDER SISTER OR BROTHER...BECAUSE IT WILL HELP TO RELIEVE SOME PRESSURE. WHEN PARENTS PASS AWAY IN THE FUTURE I STILL HAVE RELATIVES TO SHARE THE HAPPINESS AND SADNESS OF THE WORLD.

The interviewer says DID YOU HAVE THE SAME THOUGHTS WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

Alan says NO... I NEVER THOUGHT THERE WAS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE ONE CHILD POLICY. I REALLY ENJOYED BEING BY MYSELF WHEN I WAS YOUNG BECAUSE ALL THE RESOURCES WERE CONTROLLED BY ME.

Ada says SOME OF MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS HAD OLDER SIBLINGS, I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY COOL. BUT HOW STRONGLY DO I WANT ONE? NOT REALLY!

Lilian says I DON'T ADMIRE THOSE WHO HAVE SIBLINGS...I DON'T CARE.

The interviewer says BUT AT HOME, THEY HAVE SOMEONE TO PLAY WITH!

Lilian says BUT WE HAD FRIENDS, WE CAN STILL GO OUT AND PLAY WITH OUR CLASSMATES AFTER SCHOOL. DUE TO THE AGE DIFFERENCE, I DON'T THINK YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH YOUR SIBLINGS ANYWAY.

Matao says I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING THE ONLY CHILD. I QUITE ENJOY BEING BY MYSELF. OUTSIDERS WRONGLY JUDGED US FOR BEING EXTREMELY SELFISH, EXTREMELY LONELY AND EXTREMELY COLD HEARTED...I REMEMBER I WAS A BIT LONELY AT HIGH SCHOOL. THIS LONELINESS CAME FROM THE REBELLION ASSOCIATED WITH PUBERTY. THIS IS NOT BECAUSE I HAD A LACK OF SIBLINGS, BUT BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH MY PARENTS.

A series of pictures show the narrator in her teen years surrounded by friends.

The narrator says THESE ARE MY FRIENDS. WE HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER SINCE WE WERE 13 LIVING IN TIANJIN. WE ALL GREW UP AS AN ONLY CHILD. AT SCHOOL, WE USED TO SPEND UP TO 13 HOURS A DAY TOGETHER. WE FORMED DEEP BONDS
WITH NO SIBLINGS OF OUR OWN, WE BECAME EACH OTHER'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS. NEARLY TWO DECADES HAVE PASSED SINCE WE FIRST MET. I NO LONGER LIVE IN CHINA BUT I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT MY FRIENDS. HOW HAS BEING AN ONLY CHILD AFFECTED THEIR LIVES AND SHAPED THEIR EXPERIENCES? I HAVE RETURNED TO CHINA TO FIND OUT. THIS IS THEIR STORY, AS MUCH AS IT IS MINE.

The narrator walks down the street. She has long straight brown hair and wears jeans, a yellow and blue T-shirt and sunglasses.

The narrator says YAN USED TO BE MY SEAT MATE. HE USED TO WORK AS A WEDDING PLANNER. UNFORTUNATELY, HE NEVER GOT TO PLAN HIS OWN WEDDING
HIS GIRLFRIEND OF 19 YEARS LEFT HIM BECAUSE HIS PARENTS COULDN'T AFFORD TO BUY THEM AN APARTMENT

Yan says IT IS NOT ONLY HARD TO GET MARRIED, YOU CAN'T EVEN FIND A GIRLFRIEND. TODAY'S SOCIETY IS SO MATERIALISTIC. YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE TO GET MARRIED IF YOU DON'T HAVE PARENTS... NO RESPONSIBILITY OF LOOKING AFTER AGING PARENTS. THE GUY SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 200,000RMB (30,000 U.S. DOLLARS) SALARY AND DRIVE AN AUDI A4. THE GUY SHOULD ALSO BE TALL, HANDSOME, MUST NOT SMOKE, MUST NOT DRINK...SO IT IS QUITE HARD TO RAISE A SON THESE DAYS, VERY EXPENSIVE...IF YOU HAVE A SON, YOU NEED TO AT LEAST BUY THE WEDDING HOUSE FOR HIM. PARENTS ARE FACING BIG PRESSURE.

The narrator says OUR PARENTS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES UNDER PRESSURE, WE ARE TOO. AS A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL WRITER, ALAN IS INVITED TO VISIT COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD. HE SPENDS 9 MONTHS OF THE YEAR TRAVELLING. IT IS HIS DREAM JOB. BUT ALAN'S TRADITIONAL PARENTS AREN'T CONVINCED IT IS A WORTHWHILE CAREER.

Alan says I AM NOT MARRIED, I HAVE NO JOB, NO INSURANCE... THIS IS NOT A NORMAL LIFE.

The narrator says ALAN'S MUM NOW REGRETS THAT SHE SUPPORTED HIS FURTHER STUDIES OVERSEAS.

Alan says IF I DIDN'T GET MY BACHELOR'S DEGREE AND DIDN'T STUDY OVERSEAS, MY MUM BELIEVED SHE COULD CONTINUE TO CONTROL MY LIFE. I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE FOUND A NORMAL JOB IN MY HOMETOWN, GOT MARRIED AND HAD KIDS BY NOW.

The narrator says IT IS NOT ONLY ALAN'S CHOICE OF PROFESSION THAT IS A DISAPPOINTMENT TO HIS PARENTS. HIS PERSONAL LIFE IS EVEN MORE DEVASTATING FOR THEM. BECAUSE ALAN IS GAY.
ALAN'S SECRET IDENTITY WAS EXPOSED AFTER HIS FATHER WAS ABLE TO GET INTO HIS COMPUTER. ALTHOUGH SHOCKED, HIS FATHER BELIEVED BEING GAY WAS A 'TEMPORARY BAD HABIT' ALAN LEARNED WHILE STUDYING OVERSEAS. HE ORDERED ALAN TO FIX THE PROBLEM.

The interviewer says bHAVE YOU EVER SHOWN YOUR DAD A BOOK ABOUT BEING GAY?

Alan says NO...TOO SHY TO DO SO...
GAYS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 70'S ARE ALL MARRIED, THOSE WHO WERE BORN IN THE 80'S WERE STRUGGLING AND THOSE WHO WERE BORN IN THE 90'S HAVE ALL COME OUT.
OF COURSE MY PARENTS WANT ME TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE A CHILD ASAP TO CARRY ON OUR FAMILY NAME.

The narrator says HOWEVER ALAN HAS ANOTHER SECRET. HE'S ALREADY MARRIED. BEFORE FINDING A WIFE TO SATISFY HIS PARENTS, ALAN HAS TO SECRETLY DIVORCE HIS BEST FRIEND JENNY. JENNY WAS 4 MONTHS PREGNANT WHEN HER BOYFRIEND DIED IN A CAR CRASH. TO HELP HER OUT AND ENABLE HER TO KEEP THE UNBORN BABY, ALAN OFFERED TO MARRY HER.

Alan says BECAUSE SHE WORKS FOR THE GOVERNMENT, SHE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO CHOOSE BETWEEN HER JOB AND THE BIRTH OF HER CHILD.

A picture of the marriage certificate appears on screen.

The narrator says ALAN KNEW HIS PARENTS WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND OR ACCEPT HIS REASON FOR MARRYING JENNY, SO HE KEPT HIS MARRIAGE SECRET.

Alan says TIANJIN IS A VERY CONSERVATIVE CITY, ALTHOUGH IT IS THE THIRD LARGEST CITY IN CHINA. STILL PEOPLE FROM TIANJIN ARE VERY NARROW-MINDED...IT IS REALLY HARD FOR MY PARENTS TO UNDERSTAND ME AND ACCEPT WHO I AM... SO IT IS BETTER TO LET THEM HAVE A 'HAPPY' LIFE WITHOUT THEM KNOWING THE TRUTH.

The narrator says HOWEVER ALAN WAS TO FACE HIS FATHER ONCE AGAIN. HIS SECRET MARRIAGE WAS DISCOVERED. TWO SHOCKING SECRETS IN ONE YEAR HAS PROVED TOO MUCH FOR ALAN'S FATHER. HE HAS GIVEN ALAN ONE LAST CHANCE – IF HE'S NOT MARRIED BY THE AGE OF 32, HE WILL BE DISOWNED BY HIS FAMILY. ALAN'S MOTHER STILL HAS NO IDEA HE IS GAY OR THAT HE'S SECRETLY MARRIED. WHILE ALAN WORKS OUT HOW TO DIVORCE HIS BEST FRIEND, LILLIAN IS WORKING HARD ON REPAYING HER MORTGAGE SO SHE CAN SECRETLY REMARRY HER HUSBAND.

Lilian says BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT CAME OUT WITH THE NEW HOUSE POLICY, THERE WERE MANY TRICKS...LIKE FAKE 'DIVORCE' IN ORDER TO GET A CHEAPER LOAN FOR BUYING A HOUSE. IT IS QUITE COMMON IN CHINA AND I TOOK THE LOOP HOLE AND GOT A 30 percent DISCOUNT ON MY LOAN. I THINK IT IS QUITE GOOD.
MY PARENTS NEVER HAD THEIR OWN HOUSE BECAUSE OF MY GRANDPA'S TRADITIONAL THINKING. HE WANTED TO LIVE WITH HIS SON. HOW TO RESOLVE THE FAMILY FIGHT? WE HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER HOUSE FOR MY PARENTS, SO THEY HAVE THEIR OWN SPACE.
ACCORDING TO THE BANK, EACH FAMILY CAN ONLY HAVE ONE APARTMENT, BUT AS A SINGLE PERSON, YOU COULD PURCHASE AN APARTMENT AS WELL, SOME FAMILIES GOT DIVORCED TO AVOID THIS REGULATION.
THE BANK SUGGESTED TO US TO GET DIVORCED, THEY HAVE ALL SORTS OF LOOPHOLES AGAINST GOVERNMENT'S REGULATION.

Lilian looks through her desk drawers and says I CAN'T FIND OUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, BUT I KEEP MY DIVORCE ONE CAREFULLY FOR OUR RE-MARRIAGE LATER.

Lilian's husband says IT IS A VERY POPULAR WAY IN CHINA.

Lilian's husband is in his forties, balding and clean-shaven. He wears jeans and a red T-shirt with a print on the front.

The interviewer says HOW DO YOU THINK LILIAN'S PARENTS WILL FEEL?

Lilian's husband says OLD PEOPLE PROBABLY WON'T UNDERSTAND IT. IT WILL BE HARD FOR THEM TO ACCEPT IT. THEY MAY THINK IT IS CHILDISH BEHAVIOUR. FOR US, IT WON'T CHANGE ANYTHING, IT IS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER.

The interviewer says IS IT EASY TO GET DIVORCED?

Lilian says VERY EASY, NO HASSLES.

The interviewer says ANY MEDIATION?

Lilian says NO. MANY PEOPLE GET DIVORCED TO BUY AN APARTMENT...IT WILL TAKE A FEW MONTHS TO DO MEDIATION AND BY THEN MY APARTMENT IS FAR GONE...THERE IS NO MEDIATION AT ALL THESE DAYS, AS LONG AS BOTH PARTIES SIGN THE PAPER, THE JOB IS DONE.
JUST BEFORE OUR 5TH ANNIVERSARY, WE ARE DIVORCED...IF I HAVE A SIBLING WHO CAN HELP WITH THE DEPOSIT, I WON'T HAVE GONE THROUGH WITH THE DIVORCE...IF YOU DIDN'T DO WHAT WAS SUGGESTED, YOU COULD NEVER AFFORD TO BUY THE APARTMENT. WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT? MONEY OR A PIECE OF PAPER? OF COURSE MONEY IS MORE IMPORTANT. WHO IS GOING TO GIVE YOU MONEY FOR NO REASON?
YOU BETTER FILM IT. I AM QUITE HAPPY TO READ MY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, BUT NOT THE DIVORCE ONE.

The narrator says FOR LILLIAN, THE FAKE DIVORCE WAS TO SAVE MONEY, BUT FOR ADA HER MARRIAGE BREAK-UP COSTING MORE THAN ANYTHING MONEY COULD BUY.
ADA AND JAMES MET WHILE STUDYING IN THE US. UNLIKE MOST OVERSEAS STUDENTS, THEY DECIDED TO RETURN TO CHINA AFTER THEIR STUDY

Ada says WHEN I FIRST ARRIVED IN AMERICA, I DIDN'T FEEL THE FREEDOM OF THE WEST, OR THE PREMIUM LIFESTYLE... ON THE CONTRARY, I FELT EXTREMELY LONELY WITHOUT THE FAMILIAR ENVIRONMENT I USED TO LIVE IN AND I FELT VERY UNCOMFORTABLE...SO I NEVER WANTED TO STAY IN IN AMERICA SINCE ARRIVING.

The narrator says ALTHOUGH SHE HAD A MASTERS DEGREE FROM THE US, ADA'S CAREER DIDN'T WORK OUT AS SHE HAD HOPED. SHE CHANGES JOBS SIX TIMES IN ONE YEAR.

Ada says IN CHINA, THOSE WHO ONLY STUDY OVERSEAS BUT HAVE NO WORKING EXPERIENCE, FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET A JOB.

The narrator says BEFORE SHE FOUND HER IDEAL JOB, ADA BECAME PREGNANT SO SHE AND JAMES DECIDED TO GET MARRIED. HOWEVER THE UNPLANNED BABY DIDN'T STOP HER FROM PURSUING HER DREAM. AFTER HER SON'S BIRTH ADA WAS OFFERED HER DREAM JOB IN SHANGHAI. THIS MEANT HAVING HER HUSBAND WORKING IN BEIJING, HER SON BEING CARED FOR BY HER PARENTS IN TIANJIN AND ADA LIVING IN SHANGHAI.

Ada says IT IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT TO KEEP A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD... OF COURSE HE IS CLOSER TO THOSE WHO HE SPENDS LOTS OF TIME WITH...THE ONLY THING I CAN DO AT THE MOMENT IS TO CALL HIM WHENEVER I AM FREE... OR WHENEVER I HAVE DAYS OFF, I WILL FLY TO VISIT HIM IN TIANJIN... THAT IS ALL THAT I CAN DO.

The interviewer says WANGWANG, I HEARD THAT HOT WATER BURNED YOU A FEW DAYS AGO?

Wangwang YES.

Wangwang is around 3, with short black hair and wears blue shorts and a blue and white striped tank top.

The interviewer says DID THAT HURT?

Wangwang says YES.

The interviewer says ANY SCAR LEFT?

Wangwang says NO.

The interviewer says DO YOU WANT TO SHOW IT TO ME?

He lifts his tank top and shows her the scar on his belly.

The interviewer says STILL HURT?

Wangwang says NO.

The interviewer says WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU JUST GOT BURNED?

Wangwang says REALLY HURT.

The interviewer says DID YOU CRY?

Wangwang says YES.

A clip shows Wangwang playing with his grandpa.

Ada says MAYBE YOU GUYS THINK I SHOULD FEEL REGRET FOR NOT BEING ABOUT TO SHARE THE HAPPINESS OF MY SON'S CHILDHOOD? PERSONALLY SPEAKING, WHATEVER HE EXPERIENCES IS PART OF HIS LIFE. I DON'T THINK IT IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT WHETHER I WILL TAKE PART IN IT OR NOT.
OUR MARRIAGE IS MORE ABOUT SHARING A CHILD THAN BEING MARRIED IN THE TRUE SENSE... WE ONLY MEET ONCE A YEAR IN TIANJIN DURING THE SPRING FESTIVAL.

The narrator says EVENTUALLY THE STRING BECAME TOO MUCH AND ADA ASKED FOR A DIVORCE.

Wangwang's grandma says YOU JUST NEED TO TELL YOUR MUM THAT YOU MISS HER.

Wangwang says MUM, I MISS YOU.

The narrator says THIS VIDEO COULD BE THE LAST TIME THAT ADA CAN HEAR WANGWANG SAYING, 'I MISS YOU MUM'. ADA'S BROKEN MARRIAGE CAUSED HER PARENTS-IN-LAW TO WORRY THAT THEY WOULD LOSE THEIR ONLY GRANDSON. A FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE SPRING FESTIVAL, WANGWANG WAS KIDNAPPED BY HIS OWN FATHER.

Ada says AROUND MID JAN 2011, MY HUSBAND TOOK HIS PARENTS TO TIANJIN, SAYING THEY WANTED TO SEE MY SON AND CATCH UP WITH MY PARENTS...I HAD NO IDEA WHY I SENSED SOMETHING TERRIBLE WOULD HAPPEN THAT DAY... AFTER DINNER, MY HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY TOOK OUR SON SHOPPING... BUT AROUND 10 PM THAT NIGHT, MY SON WAS STILL NOT HOME. WHEN TRYING TO CONTACT THEM, I FOUND THEY SWITCHED OFF THEIR PHONES AND NON OF THEIR RELATIVES KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. SINCE THEN MY SON HAS BEEN GONE.

The narrator says WITHOUT ANY CONTACT OR TRACE OF HER SON, ADA SOUGHT HELP FROM A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. BUT LOOKING FOR HER SON IN SUCH A VAST COUNTRY IS NOT AN EASY TASK.

(music plays)

The narrator says FEELING GUILTY ABOUT JEOPARDISING THEIR ONLY SON'S CHANCE OF MARRIAGE, YAN'S PARENTS FINALLY MANAGED TO BUY HIM A ONE-BEDROOM APARTMENT.

Yan says THE APARTMENT WAS PURCHASED 5 YEARS OLD.

The interviewer says ANY MORTGAGE?

Yan says ALL PAID OFF.

The interviewer says DID YOU PARENTS PAY IT OFF?

Yan says NOT MY DAD, MY MUM PAID IT ...WELL... KIND OF MY MUM AND I TOGETHER PAID IT OFF. BUT I ONLY MADE A SMALL CONTRIBUTION. WHEN I WAS LIVING IN BEIJING, EVERYTHING WAS QUITE EXPENSIVE. I COULDN'T REALLY HELP TO PAY FOR ANYTHING BACK HOME. I THINK I ONLY CONTRIBUTED BETWEEN 30,000-40,000 RMB (APPROXIMATELY 5000 U.S. DOLLARS)

The interviewer says HOW MUCH IS YOUR APT?

Yan says NOT TOO EXPENSIVE, AROUND 260,000 RMB (42,000 U.S. DOLLARS), INCLUDING INTERESTS ON THE MORTGAGE.

The interviewer says YOUR MUM MUST BE UNDER HUGE PRESSURE HELPING TO PAYING OFF YOUR MORTGAGE?

Yan says AFTER RETIREMENT, SHE FOUND OTHER JOBS, JUST SMALL JOBS HERE AND THERE. SHE DID ALL THESE JUST TO HELP ME. MY PARENTS ARE WORKING CLASS, THEY HAVE SOME PENSION AFTER THEY RETIRED. WHILE NOT A LOT, BUT BETTER THAN NOTHING. BUT THEY KNEW DEEP DOWN THAT I COULDN'T AFFORD IT AT ALL BY MYSELF.

A clip shows a photographer taking Yan and his wife's wedding pictures.

A caption reads "In China, wedding photos are taken before the wedding day."

The interviewer says HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO PAY AS A DEPOSIT FOR YOUR CAR?

Yan's wife says 5000 RMB (800 U.S. DOLLARS)

Yan's wife is in her thirties, with long layered brown hair and wears a blue dress.

The interviewer says HOW MUCH IS THE CAR IN TOTAL?

She says 200,000 RMB (37,000 U.S. DOLLARS).

Yan says AFTER INTERIOR DECORATIONS, PUTTING IN A REVERSING CAMERA ETCETERA, IT WILL BE AROUND 230,000-240,000 RMB (40,000 U.S. DOLLARS) IN TOTAL.

Yan's wife says QUITE EXPENSIVE

The interviewer says WHO BOUGHT THE CAR?

Yan's wife says MY MOTHER

The interviewer says WHAT FOR?

Yan's wife says MY WEDDING PRESENT...
WHO'S NAME DID YOU PUT DOWN AS THE OWNER?

Yan says AS YOU WISH.

Yan's wife says OK, WE WILL TALK ABOUT IT LATER
THEY ASKED TO WRITE DOWN A CONTACT NAME, SO I GAVE THEM MY NAME.

Yan says THAT'S OK.

The interviewer says IS IT NORMAL FOR THE BRIDE'S PARENTS TO BUY A CAR?

Yan's wife says GROOM'S PARENTS BUY THE APARTMENT AND THE BRIDE'S PARENTS BUY A CAR. IT IS TIANJIN'S CUSTOM. IF THE BRIDE'S PARENTS ARE NOT WEALTHY, THEY SHOULD AT LEAST BUY ALL THE FURNITURE AND WHITEWARES.

The interviewer says WHAT PRICE SCALE SHOULD THE CAR BE?

Yan's wife says DOESN'T MATTER. IF YOU CAN AFFORD, BMW IS WELCOME. IF NOT, A CHEAPER CAR IS ALSO ACCEPTABLE... I WANTED A 2 LITRE CAR BUT IT COSTS TOO MUCH FOR PETROL. SO I SUGGESTED THAT MY MUM SHOULD PAY IF SHE WANTED A RIDE.

The interviewer says DID YOU TELL YOUR MUM?

Yan's wife says says OF COURSE

The interviewer says WHAT DID SHE SAY?

Yan's wife says WHAT? I HAD PAID FOR THE CAR; I WON'T PAY FOR THE PETROL.

The narrator says WITH NO MORTGAGE ON THEIR APARTMENT AND A BRAND NEW CAR, THE COUPLE STARTS PLANNING THEIR WEDDING.

Yan's wife says WHEN YOU ARE RICH, BUY ME THIS CAR

Yan says MMM, THAT COST 1 MILLION RMB!

Yan's wife says FOR US, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO BE TOGETHER. WE DON'T CARE EVEN IF THERE IS NO CEREMONY. BUT THE WHOLE THING IS LIKE A SHOW FOR OUR PARENTS. THESE DAYS, SOME PEOPLE HIRE PRIVATE HELICOPTERS, BOATS ETC. THAT COSTS LOTS OF MONEY BUT IT IS JUST A FEW HOURS. NOT NECESSARY.

The interviewer says SO WHO WILL PAY FOR THE HELICOPTER OR THE BOAT?

Yan's wife says OF COURSE THE PARENTS WILL THE NEWLY WEDDED COUPLES ARE IN THEIR EARLY 20S. THEY DON'T HAVE MONEY AT ALL.

The interviewer says THEIR PARENTS ARE REALLY GENEROUS.

Yan's wife says IF THE PARENTS DON'T, THEIR KIDS WILL BLAME THEM FOREVER. BUT IF PARENTS CAN AFFORD IT, OF COURSE THEY ARE HAPPY TO PAY FOR THEIR ONLY CHILD.

The interviewer says WHAT ABOUT PARENTS WHO ARE POOR AND CAN'T AFFORD THE LUXURY CEREMONY, WILL THEY HAVE TO BORROW MONEY?

Yan's wife says OF COURSE, THE MAJORITY OF PARENTS BORROW MONEY THESE DAYS.

Yan says IN THE NEWS, AN OLD COUPLE ACCEPTED THEIR ONLY SON'S MARRIAGE, BUT THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO BUY HIM AN APARTMENT. OUT OF CHOICES, THEY BOTH JUMPED FROM THE 6TH FLOOR. THEY GAVE THEIR SMALL APARTMENT FOR THEIR ONLY SON'S WEDDING.

(music plays)

The narrator says COLLECTING MONEY IS THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE HAVE LARGE WEDDING CEREMONIES.

At his wedding, Yan says IT HAS BEEN 19 YEARS SINCE WE FIRST MET. WE WENT THROUGH MANY HURDLES IN THE PAST. I FEEL SO HAPPY THAT TODAY WE ARE MARRIED. MAYBE I CAN'T MAKE HER THE RICHEST WIFE IN THE WORLD, LIKE BILL GATE'S WIFE... BUT I WILL TRY MY BEST TO MAKE HER THE HAPPIEST AND THE MOST HEALTHY WOMAN IN THE WORLD. PLEASE WISH US WELL AND WE WILL HAVE A HAPPY LIFE, OF COURSE THAT WE WILL TRY TO HAVE A CHILD ASAP. ALSO WE WISH OUR PARENTS TO BE HEALTHY AND YOUNG FOREVER. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANK YOU FOR COMING TO OUR WEDDING. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY IT.

Lucy says I RESEARCHED ON THE INTERNET FOR MY DREAM WEDDING, SUCH AS GARMENT, INVITATION CARDS, WEDDING CAKES ETC... BUT NONE OF WHAT I HAD RESEARCHED WAS ACCEPTED. BECAUSE MY WEDDING WAS HELD IN MY MOTHER-IN-LAW'S HOMETOWN, EVERYTHING WAS ORGANIZED BY HER. I JUST WORE MY DRESS STANDING THERE, DOING NOTHING.

Pictures of Lucy's wedding appear.

Alan says I THINK I AM GOING TO GET MARRIED THREE TIMES IN MY LIFE. THE FIRST MARRIAGE WAS TO HELP A FRIEND. THE SECOND MARRIAGE WILL BE TO SATISFY MY PARENTS, THE THIRD MARRIAGE WILL BE WITH MY TRUE LOVE. SO I THINK MY THIRD MARRIAGE WILL BE HELD IN AMSTERDAM. THEN I WILL WRITE THE MOST POPULAR BOOK, CALLED 'MY THREE MARRIAGES.' I HAVE MARRIED ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE: A STRAIGHT WOMAN, A LESBIAN AND A GAY MAN. I JUST CAN'T MARRY A STRAIGHT MAN.

Lilian says MARRIAGE RELIES ON HEART TO HEART COMMUNICATION, NOT A PIECE OF PAPER. IF THE COUPLE ARE VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER, THEY DOESN'T NEED MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE AS PROTECTION.

Lucy says QUITE OFTEN MY HUSBAND ASKS WHERE WE SHOULD LIVE WHEN WE RETIRE, AND WHETHER WE SHOULD INVEST IN A RETIREMENT HOUSE. I ALWAYS WONDER WHETHER I WOULD STILL BE WITH HIM UNTIL MY RETIREMENT. OF COURSE I HOPE SO. I ALSO KNEW HE ACTUALLY MEANT IT WHEN HE ASKED, SO I WAS QUITE TOUCHED. IT IS NOT ME BEING NEGATIVE NOR NOT BELIEVING 'LOVE IS FOREVER', IT IS JUST THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS ARE OUT OF MY CONTROL. SO I THINK IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LIVE HAPPILY EVERY SINGLE DAY

Yan says MOST LIKELY ONE CHILD IS GOING TO MARRY ONE CHILD.

The interviewer says WHY

Yan says I THINK PEOPLE ARE SELFISH. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, I WISH TO FIND THE ONE CHILD AS MY WIFE. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN PARENTS DIE A FEW YEARS LATER, NO ONE WILL FIGHT FOR THE INHERITANCE WITH US, THIS IS THE REALITY. MAYBE IT WAS FUN HAVING SIBLINGS WHEN WE WERE A KID, WHEN FACING THE REALITY OF MONEY AND INHERITANCE, IT'S NOT SO COOL. OF COURSE THIS ALSO DEPENDS ON THE FAMILY AND HUMAN NATURE.

The narrator says MA TAO IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SO IS HER HUSBAND. THEY WERE CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS BUT WERE FORBIDDEN TO SEE EACH OTHER BY THEIR PARENTS AND TEACHERS. DETERMINED, THEY EVENTUALLY MARRIED. BUT MARRIED LIFE WAS NOTHING LIKE THE ROMANTIC FAIRY TALE THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. THEY NEVER STOP FIGHTING.

Matao points at their wedding picture on a wall and says I CRIED MANY TIMES IN FRONT OF MY WEDDING PHOTOS AND WONDERED IF HE WAS THE PERSON I LOVED FOR 11 YEARS. WE FOUGHT A LOT DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF OUR MARRIAGE. EVERY TIME I WAS ANGRY, I TOOK DOWN THE PICTURE AND LEFT IT ON THE FLOOR IN THE TOILET, SOMETIMES FOR WEEKS. THE EDGES OF THE PICTURE WERE DAMAGED AS IT WAS LEFT THERE FOR SO LONG. I HAVE TO SAY I FELT MUCH BETTER WHEN I DID SO.
BOTH MY HUSBAND AND I ARE ONE CHILD POLICY PRODUCTS. WE ARE USED TO BEING THE CENTER OF ATTENTION ALL THE TIME. WE FIGHT A LOT. WE BOTH WANT TO BE THE SPEAKER RATHER THAN THE LISTENER.
WE HAD A BIG FIGHT OVER OUR LIFESTYLE BUT WE FIGHT MAINLY OVER HOUSEWORK. EVERY TIME WHEN WE DID HOUSEWORK, WE END UP COMPLAINING AND FIGHTING. INITIALLY WE PLANNED TO EAT OUTSIDE OR GO FOR A MOVIE AFTER CLEANING, BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED.

The interviewer says WHO DOES ALL THE WASHING AT HOME?

Matao says I DO. BUT I HAVE TO CONVINCE HIM MANY TIME THAT I DO THE WORK. HE INSISTS THAT IT IS THE WASHING MACHINE THAT DOES THE JOB AUTOMATICALLY NOT ME. BUT I ARGUE THAT IT IS AN ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY SOCIETY NOW, NO ONE USES AUTOMATIC MACHINES PLUS IT WASTES TOO MUCH WATER. I AM THE ONE WHO PUTS THE SPECIAL WASHING LIQUID ON THE COLLAR, I AM THE ONE WHO DROPS THE CLOTHES INTO THE MACHINE. I AM THE ONE WHO ADJUSTS THE WATER TEMPERATURE. I AM THE ONE WHO CONTROLLED THE WASHING TIME AND BRINGS THEM OUT. I AM THE ONE WHO HANGS THE CLOTHES AND FOLDS THEM WHEN DRY. IT IS A COMPLICATED AND TIME-CONSUMING PROCESS. AT THE END, HE WAS TOTALLY CONVINCED THAT I DID THE WASHING.

The narrator says SIX MONTHS LATER, THEY HAVE SOLVED THEIR HOUSEWORK PROBLEMS BY HIRING A CLEANER. THIS IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY COMMON AMONG YOUNG CHINESE MUCH TO THE DISAPPROVAL OF OUR TRADITIONAL PARENTS.

A caption reads "Matao's mum."

Matao's mum is in her sixties, with short black hair and wears brown trousers and a printed black and white top.

Matao says MY MUM COULDN'T UNDERSTAND AT ALL. SHE OFFERED TO COME AND DO MY HOUSEWORK. I JUST NEED TO PAY HER INSTEAD. BUT HOW CAN I DO THAT TO MY MUM? IT LOOKS EASY BUT IT TAKES AT LEAST 2

3 HOURS TO DO A DECENT JOB. A CLEANER WILL DO EVERYTHING FROM THE WINDOWS TO THE FLOORS. I CAN EASILY SAVE MONEY FOR THE CLEANER BY NOT DINING OUT SO OFTEN. I HAVE SAVED MANY CARDS WHICH ADVERTISE FIXING PIPS, ELECTRONIC DEVICES, SEWER ETC. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS DIAL THEIR NUMBER AND THEY WILL FIX IT FOR YOU.

The narrator says MATAO IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DOESN'T WANT TO DO HOUSEWORK. NONE OF MY FRIENDS COOK OR CLEAN.

The interviewer says DOES YOUR MUM STILL WASH CLOTHS FOR YOU?

Yan says YES. I CAN DO THESE THINGS MYSELF BUT I AM ALWAYS FEEL TIRED AFTER WORK AND MY MUM JUST WASHES THEM FOR ME.

Lilian says WE NORMALLY GO TO MY PARENTS' PLACE FOR DINNER FIRST THEN WE GO BACK TO OUR OWN HOME. OUR OWN HOME IS LIKE A HOTEL: SHOWER, SLEEP BUT NO COOKING.

Alan says I HAVE A POOR SELF-CARE ABILITY. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO COOK... MAYBE TOO LAZY TO DO SO. I DON'T DO MY OWN WASHING, I DO IT AT THE DRY CLEANING.

The interviewer says WHAT ABOUT THE HOUSEWORK?

Alan says I PAY FOR A CLEANER

The narrator says NOWADAYS, MANY YOUNG PEOPLE IN CHINA REFUSE TO DO HOUSEWORK AND MANY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DO BASIC TASKS AROUND THE HOME. GROWING UP WE WERE TREATED LIKE PRINCES AND PRINCESSES BY OUR ADORING PARENTS AND WE NEVER HAD TO LIFT A FINGER. SO WHERE NOW DOES THE BLAME FOR THIS SITUATION LIE, WITH US, OR OUR PARENTS?
FOR 3 YEARS OUR PARENTS LIVED ON THE VERGE OF STARVATION. MOST OF THEM ENDURED THE HORROR OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION. THEY COULD ONLY DREAM OF THE PRIVILEGES WE NOW TAKE FOR GRANTED. BEING TOLD THAT THEY COULD ONLY HAVE ONE CHILD, THEY WERE DETERMINED TO DO EVERYTHING FOR US TO MAKE OUR LIVE EASIER, WHICH OFTEN MEANT SPOILING US.

Ada says OUR PARENTS' DREAMS WERE RUINED WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG. THAT IS WHY THEY TRIED TO FULFIL THEIR UNFINISHED BUSINESS ON US.

Lilian says I NEVER HAD ANY DREAMS OF MY OWN. NO ONE HELPED ME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I LIKED AND WANTED TO ACHIEVE. THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO STUDY WHEN APPLYING FOR UNIVERSITY. I DIDN'T CARE WHICH UNIVERSITY OR WHAT MAJOR I SHOULD STUDY...IT WAS UP TO MY PARENTS TO ARRANGE ONE FOR ME...NOT UNTIL THE THIRD YEAR AT UNIVERSITY, DID I REALISE THAT MY FUTURE JOB WAS TO DESIGN THE SEWERS FOR APARTMENTS.

Matao says WHEN I WAS IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, I WATCHED A TV PROGRAM AND REALLY WANTED TO BE AN AIRHOSTESS, BUT MY MUM THOUGHT THAT KIND OF JOB WON'T LAST LONG. WHEN I WAS A KID I WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL DANCER, BUT MY MUM THOUGHT I WON'T BE SUCCESSFUL.

The narrator says IN CHINA, PEOPLE STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IS THE ONLY WAY TO ENSURE A SAFE AND BRIGHT FUTURE. COMPETITION IS FIERCE. ONLY 1 IN 5 CHINESE STUDENTS CAN GO TO UNIVERSITY. IN RURAL AREAS, IT'S ONLY 1 IN 100. MY FRIENDS AND I KNEW THAT GETTING INTO UNIVERSITY WAS THE ONLY WAY WE COULD PAY OUR PARENTS BACK FOR THEIR HARD WORK, SACRIFICE AND LOVE.

A series of pictures show the narrator at her college graduation.

The narrator says LILIAN ON A MEAGRE INCOME, IS TRYING TO GIVE HER DAUGHTER ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES SHE HAD AS AN ONLY CHILD. SHE IS CONVINCED HER DAUGHTER'S GRUELLING REGIME WILL PAY OFF IN THE END. DANCING CLASS ON MONDAY, DRAWING CLASS ON TUESDAY, SWIMMING ON THURSDAY, MATHS ON SATURDAY AND SPEECH LESSONS ON SUNDAY. FIVE-YEAR-OLD TONGOTONG IS SO BUSY SHE HAS LITTLE TIME TO PLAY.

Lilian says KIDS HAVE VERY LITTLE TIME TO PLAY WITH TOYS AND WITH OTHER KIDS IN THE KINDERGARTEN THESE DAYS. BUT KIDS CAN LEARN TEAM SPIRIT FROM THE TASKS TEACHERS ARRANGE FOR THEM... DRAWING CAN HELP HER UNDERSTAND THE COLOUR AND GAIN A SENSE OF SPACE. DANCING CAN HELP HER WITH COORDINATION AND MAKE SURE SHE WILL HAVE A GOOD BODY SHAPE IN THE FUTURE. SPEECH CLASS CAN HELP HER COMMUNICATION SKILLS. SHE WON'T HAVE PROBLEMS WHEN SHE GROWS UP. IT IS HARD ON PARENTS THESE DAYS. KIDS HAVE LOTS OF FUN IN THE CLASSROOM. PARENTS HAVE TO WAIT OUTSIDE FOR HOURS...VERY BORING...THE CONTRIBUTION PARENTS MAKE WILL HAVE AN AFFECT ON THEIR CHILDREN'S FUTURE SUCCESS. LANGLANG IS A GOOD EXAMPLE. HIS FATHER EVEN RESIGNED FROM HIS WORK JUST TO BE WITH HIM TO PRACTICE THE PIANO. LANGLANG IS VERY SUCCESSFUL NOW.

Pictures of a young pianist in concert appear.

Lilian says BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE LANGLANG IN THE WORLD OF COURSE, BUT WITHOUT HIS PARENT; THERE WON'T BE A LANGLANG TODAY.

The narrator says THERE WASN'T ANY BOND WHEN TONGTONG WAS BORN.

Lilian says I GOT PRETTY SICK AFTER GIVING BIRTH TO MY DAUGHTER. SHE WAS CRYING AND I DIDN'T FEEL WELL AT ALL AT THAT TIME. ALL MY PARENTS' ATTENTION WAS ON MY DAUGHTER, NOT ON ME. THAT UPSET ME.

Matao says FINALLY MY SON WAS BORN, BUT THE FIRST THREE MONTHS I DIDN'T FELL ANY JOY. ALTHOUGH THERE WAS SOMEONE TO LOOK AFTER AND COOK FOR ME, I STILL FELT LOTS OF PAIN FROM THE CAESAREAN OPERATION AND I WAS SUPER FAT AFTER DELIVERING THE BABE. YOU COULD HEAR ALL THE PRAISE AROUND THE BABE, THEY SELDOM MENTIONED ME. I FELT LIKE I HAD JUST FINISHED A TASK FOR MY FAMILY...VERY UNFAIR.
I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT HAVING A BABY BOY OR A GIRL. BUT THERE IS A CRUCIAL FACT EXISTING IN OUR FAMILY. MY HUSBAND IS THE ONLY SON AT HOME. HIS FATHER IS THE ONLY BOY IN HIS FAMILY. MY FATHER-IN-LAW'S DAD IS ALSO THE ONLY MALE IN HIS FAMILY. SO MY SON IS THE FOURTH GENERATION MALE IN THE WHOLE FAMILY. MY MOTHER-IN-LAW ONLY VALUES MALE. MY FATHER-IN-LAW LOVES TO HAVE A BOY AT HOME TO SHOW OFF LIKE ALL CHINESE. I DID HAVE SOME PRESSURE WHEN I WAS PREGNANT. I SHOULDN'T CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S EXPECTATIONS. I WOULD LOVE MY CHILD REGARDLESS WHETHER OF THE GENDER. IN THE END, I WAS RELIEVED I HAD A BOY!

The narrator says IN 2008, CHINA STATED THAT ONE CHILD POLICY WOULD REMAIN IN PLACE FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER DECADE. DUE TO THE AGING POPULATION AND DWINDLING WORK FORCE, THE POLICY IS LOSING ITS APPEAL. IRONICALLY NOW MOST OF MY FRIENDS ARE ACTUALLY QUALIFIED TO HAVE A SECOND CHILD.

Matao says BOTH MY HUSBAND AND I ARE FROM A SINGLE CHILD FAMILY. I HEARD THAT COUPLES WITH A MASTER DEGREE CAN HAVE A SECOND CHILD. WE ARE ENTITLED AND ENCOURAGED TO HAVE A SECOND CHILD.

Lucy says IF YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED BUT HAVE A SECOND CHILD. YOU HAVE TO PAY A FINE OR FACE REDUNDANCY AND BEING EXPELLED FROM THE PARTY. THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD THE FINE, IN BEIJING IT IS AROUND 200,000 RMB (34,000 U.S. DOLLARS). IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY THE FINE YOU COULD BUY A RESIDENCY ID IN HONG KONG, IT IS MUCH CHEAPER. THAT IS LEGAL AND YOU CAN AVOID THE FINE. AS LONG AS YOU PAY, YOU CAN GET A HONG KONG ID. IT COSTS AROUND 100,000 RMB (17,000 U.S. DOLLARS) TO BUY AN ID IN HK, IT'S MUCH CHEAPER THAN THE FINE.

Matao says I AM STRONGLY AGAINST THE IDEA OF HAVING A SECOND CHILD BUT MY HUSBAND REALLY WANTS TO HAVE A GIRL. MY PARENTS–IN-LAW REALLY WANT TO HAVE ANOTHER GRANDCHILD. BUT WHY SHOULD I GO THROUGH THE WHOLE PREGNANCY AGAIN? GET FAT AND SUFFER THE PAIN. ALSO IT MIGHT CAUSE MANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS, ESPECIALLY LEADING TO FINANCIAL PRESSURE.

Yan says IT IS SUCH A HEADACHE WHEN FACING THE NEXT GENERATION. FROM MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW, ONCE THE CHILD IS BORN, IT BECOMES A LUXURY PRODUCT.

Lucy says A BOY IS A CONSTRUCTION BANK, A GIRL IS AN INVESTMENT BANK. IF YOU HAVE A BOY, YOU NEED TO PREPARE THE WEDDING APARTMENT FOR HIM. BUT IF YOU HAVE A GIRL, SHE JUST NEEDS TO FIND SOMEONE WHO GETS THE HOUSE AND CAR.

Matao says MY HUSBAND BOUGHT THIS WATCH IN HK DISNEYLAND. WE CAN AFFORD A BRANDED WATCH FROM DISNEY JUST BECAUSE WE ONLY HAVE ONE CHILD. THIS WATCH COST 100 RMB. IF WE HAD TWO KIDS, PROBABLY THEY WON'T KNOW WHAT A WATCH IS UNTIL THEY GO TO PRIMARY SCHOOL.

Lilian says FINANCIALLY I DON'T THINK I CAN AFFORD A SECOND CHILD. HER KINDERGARTEN COSTS 1700-1800 RMB PER MONTH, OTHER CLASSES COST 300-400 RMB PER MONTH AND THERE ARE SOME OTHER EXPENSES TOO: CLOTHES, TOYS, DINING OUT ETCETERA. ROUGHLY IT COSTS US 3000 RMB (500 U.S. DOLLARS) TO RAISE ONE CHILD. FOR THE WORKING CLASS, THAT IS ONE PERSON'S MONTHLY INCOME.

The narrator says GROWING UP WITH A COUSIN LIVING AT HER HOME, LUCY HAS A DIFFERENT OPINION OF HAVING BABIES.

Lucy says THE WHOLE FAMILY IS MORE LIVELY WITH MORE KIDS. WE HAVE FOUR PARENTS IN OUR FAMILY, THEY ARE ALL HEALTHY. WITH ONLY ONE GRANDCHILD AT HOME, THEY FIGHT FOR HIM. IF WE HAVE TWO KIDS, THEN THEY WON'T FIGHT ANYMORE.

The narrator says TRADITIONALLY, CHINESE PARENTS RELIED ON MORE THAN ONE CHILD LOOKING AFTER THEM IN THEIR OLD AGE. NOW, THE STRUCTURE OF MODERN FAMILIES IS AN INVERTED PYRAMID WITH 2 ADULTS HAVING TO LOOK AFTER BOTH SETS OF PARENTS - OR 4 OLD PEOPLE, AS WELL AS THEIR OWN CHILD.
HAVING A CHILD IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING. MOST OF MY FRIENDS CHOOSE TO LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS OR AT LEAST CLOSE BY

Lilian says THERE ARE HEAPS OF ADVANTAGES LIVING AROUND MY PARENTS, AT LEAST I DON'T NEED TO COOK. COOKING IS SUCH A HEADACHE FOR A COUPLE WHO BOTH WORK.

Matao says THE MAIN ADVANTAGE OF LIVING CLOSE TO MY PARENTS-IN-LAW IS THAT THEY CAN HELP TO LOOK AFTER MY SON. ALSO IT IS GOOD FOR MY SON TO BE SURROUNDED BY GRANDPARENTS, A VERY HEALTHY FAMILY ENVIRONMENT. THE DISADVANTAGE IS BEING SPIED ON ALL THE TIME. WHEN MY PARENTS IN LAW PASS BY MY APARTMENT AND SEE THE LIGHTS ARE ON, THEY ASK ME TO GO TO BED; OR SOMETIMES WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE OFF, THEY WOULD COMPLAIN THAT I SHOULDN'T STAY OUTSIDE SO LATE. I DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE AT ALL ABOUT BEING SPIED ON.

Yan says I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM BEING INDEPENDENT BUT WE JUST HAVE GOT INTO THE HABIT OF DEPENDING ON MY PARENTS. ALL MY FRIENDS EVEN AFTER THEY ARE MARRIED, STILL RELY ON THEIR PARENTS. FOR THOSE WITH CHILDREN, THEY WILL EITHER DROP THE KIDS AT THE WIFE'S PARENT'S PLACE OR HUSBAND'S PARENT'S APARTMENT. FOR THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE CHILDREN: MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, THEY WILL EAT AT THE HUSBAND'S PARENT'S PLACE. TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY, THEY WILL EAT AT THE WIFE'S PARENT'S. ON SUNDAY, THEY WILL DINE OUT. THEY STILL LIVE OFF THEIR PARENTS EVEN AFTER THEY ARE MARRIED.

A clip rolls with the caption "Tiandou with Grandma." Grandma helps Tiandou, Matao's son, wash his hands.

Another clip rolls with the caption "Xiaoyu with Grandma." Grandma feeds Xiaoyu.

Another clip rolls with the caption "Wangwang with Grandma." Grandma helps Wangwang put on a toy belt.

Another clip rolls with the caption "Tongtong with Grandma." Grandma helps Tongtong with her homework.

(music plays)

The narrator says BY THE YEAR 2050, CHINA WILL HAVE MORE THAN 430 MILLION PEOPLE AGED OVER 60. THOSE AGED 65 OR OLDER WILL MAKE UP 22 percent OF CHINA'S POPULATION. HOW WILL WE ONLY CHILDREN, SO USED TO BEING TREATED AS PRINCES AND PRINCESSES, COPE WITH TAKING ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CARING FOR OUR AGING PARENTS?

Lilian says SO FAR, ALL OF OUR AGING PARENTS DON'T NEED OUR CARE THAT MUCH, THEREFORE I DON'T HAVE VERY BIG PRESSURE YET. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN INCOMES, THEIR FRIENDS, THEIR SPACE, THEY DON'T RELY ON ME. SO FAR SO GOOD.

The interviewer says WHAT ABOUT LATER?

Lilian says WHEN I AM IN MY 40S, I AM SURE I WILL FACE LOTS OF PRESSURE. BUT LET'S WORRY ABOUT IT WHEN IT HAPPENS. THERE MUST BE WAYS TO DEAL WITH IT.

Matao says MY PARENTS DECLARED THAT THEY WILL LIVE IN THE RETIREMENT HOUSE IN THE FUTURE. BUT I DON'T THINK I AM NOT IN THE POSITION TO ASK MY PARENT'S IN LAW WHAT THEY WILL DO. WE REALLY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICES. WE NEED TO LOOK AFTER OUR SON. MY SON IS NEARLY 3 YEARS OLD, BOTH OF OUR PARENTS ARE IN THEIR 60S. WHEN MY SON GOES TO HIGH SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY, WE WILL HAVE TO INVEST LOTS OF MONEY AND TIME ON HIM. HOWEVER OUR PARENTS WILL BE REALLY OLD AND WEAK BY THEN. IT IS NOT THAT I HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT, IT IS THAT I DON'T DARE TO THINK ABOUT IT. WE WILL FACE HUGE PRESSURE. I HOPE THEY WON'T MAKE IT TOO DIFFICULT FOR US. IT IS NOT THAT WE DON'T WANT TO LOOK AFTER THEM, WE DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE.

Lucy says NOT ONLY MY FRIENDS, BUT ALSO FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS TO OUR PARENTS, WE WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER IF WE DON'T HAVE TO FACE IT ALONE.

Alan says I JUST WANT TO MAKE MY PARENTS HAPPY, NO MATTER WHAT I HAVE TO DO.

The narrator says LIKE ALAN, WE ALL STUDIED IN WESTERN COUNTRIES AND DREAMED THAT ONE DAY, OUR LIVES WOULD BE DIFFERENT. IN REALITY, WE ARE BEING FORCED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN FACING THE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH BEING AN ONLY CHILD OR LIVING OUR OWN INDEPENDENT LIVES.
ALAN FINALLY DIVORCED HIS BEST FRIEND JENNY AT THE LOCAL FAMILY COURT. INTRODUCED BY A MUTUAL FRIEND, ALAN HAS MET A PHILIPPINE LESBIAN WHO HAS SIMILAR PRESSURES FROM HER FAMILY.

The interviewer says ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A WEDDING CEREMONY?

Alan says OF COURSE, MY BIG WEDDING! THE WHOLE THING IS JUST LIKE A SHOW.

The interviewer says WHO IS GOING TO ORGANIZE YOUR WEDDING?

Alan says MY DAD.

The interviewer says HAS HE DISCUSSED THIS WITH YOU?

Alan says YES.

The interviewer says HOW WILL HE DO IT?

Alan says AS BIG AS POSSIBLE. HE WILL INVITE ALL HE CAN THINK OF... JUST TO SHOW OFF THAT HIS SON IS GETTING MARRIED.

The interviewer says ALAN AND HIS FILIPINO WIFE GOT MARRIED IN TIANJIN IN FRONT OF 100 RELATIVES AND FAMILY FRIENDS... MOST OF THEM HIS FATHER'S.
WHEN I HEARD THE NEWS, I WASN'T SURE WHETHER TO BE HAPPY OR TO FEEL SAD FOR HIM.

Ada says I JUST WANTED TO SEE WHAT CONDITION MY SON WAS IN. WHEN I GOT THERE, I SAW A NANNY WAS SENDING MY SON TO KINDERGARTEN. I WAS A LITTLE BIT IMPULSIVE. I STOPPED THE NANNY AND TOOK MY SON OFF HER. IT HAD BEEN 10 MONTHS SINCE HE WAS STOLEN, HE WAS ONLY 4 YEARS OLD. HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE ME STRAIGHT AWAY. I ASKED HIM: "I AM MUMMY, DO YOU REMEMBER ME?" HE JUST KEPT QUITE AND SHOOK HIS HEAD. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT: BECAUSE OF WORK, I MOVED TO SHANGHAI, SO MY HUSBAND AND I HAD TO LIVE APART, WE COULDN'T COMMUNICATE AND OUR RELATIONSHIP FELL APART IN THE END. LOOKING BACK, EVEN IF I HAD TRIED TO WORK ON OUR MARRIAGE, IT STILL WOULDN'T HAVE LASTED VERY LONG. MAYBE WE WOULDN'T HAVE ENDED UP IN THIS UGLY WAY, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT DON'T MATCH BETWEEN US. OUR LIFE EXPERIENCES AND BACKGROUNDS ARE SO DIFFERENT. TO SOME DEGREE, I AM SATISFIED WITH MY LIFE. I WON'T BE WHO I AM NOW IF I JUST TRY TO SKIP MY PAST. I WON'T FEEL ANY REGRET OR AT LEAST I WON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME. I THINK THIS IS LIFE: WHEN THERE IS A PROBLEM, YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY TO FACE IT AND HANDLE THE PROBLEM.

Matao says SINCE I WAS BORN, I DIDN'T NEED TO SHARE WITH ANYONE. I GOT LOTS OF LOVE. EVERYONE WANTS TO BE LOVED. IT IS NOT UP TO ME TO CHOOSE. WHY SHOULD I TURN DOWN THE LOVE? I SHOULD ENJOY THE LOVE. ALSO I AM A VERY HEALTHY PERSON GROWN UP AMONG ALL THE LOVE. THEN I CAN PASS ON THE LOVE TO OTHER PEOPLE. I BELIEVE LOVE HAS THE POWER OF RADIATION.

In the classroom, Matao addresses her students and says SOMETIMES, DO YOU FEEL DEPRESSED BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO SHARE SOMETHING WITH YOUR BROTHER?

A student says YES, SOMETIMES.

Matao says SOMETIMES DEPRESSED?
WELL SINCE YOU, MOST YOU,
HAVE THE OLDER BROTHER,
YOU WILL BE THE YOUNGER
ONE IN YOUR FAMILY,
YOU SHOULD HAVE GET MORE
LOVE THAN YOUR BROTHER.

Another student says YEAH, MAYBE.

Matao says MAYBE?
(LAUGHING)

Matao says YOU CAN TELL ME THE TRUTH.

Alan says I THINK THE FIRST GENERATION OF THE ONE CHILD POLICY IS STUCK IN AN AWKWARD GAP BETWEEN TWO GENERATIONS. WE ARE MUCH MORE OPEN MINDED THAN OUR PARENTS BUT WE ARE NOT OPEN ENOUGH LIKE THE YOUNGER GENERATION, WHO ARE LIVING WITHOUT ANY KIND OF CONROL. WE HAVE MANY HURDLES IN OUR LIVES, FOR EXAMPLES, LOOKING AFTER OUR AGING PARENTS, RAISING UP THE NEXT GENERATIONS ETC. OUR NEXT GENERATION IS A VERY HAPPY ONE. THEY DON'T NEED TO FACE THESE PROBLEMS AT ALL. WITH CHINA DEVELOPING, THEY HAVE MANY RESOURCES AT HAND. THEY ARE HAPPIER AND HAVE MORE FREEDOM THAN OUR GENERATION.

The narrator says ALAN'S 3RD BOOK BACKPACKER 10 YEARS WAS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TRAVEL BOOKS IN CHINA. HE SOLD 365,000 COPIES IN 2 YEARS.

Lilian says 80 PERCENT OF MY LIFE WAS CONTROLLED BY MY GRANDFATHER, 10 PERCENT BY MY PARENTS AND THE REST BY MYSELF. MY GRANDFATHER WOULD FOLLOW ME WHEREVER I WENT. MY EXPECTATION ON MY DAUGHTER IS TO TRY TO MAKE UP ALL THAT I HAD LOST AS A CHILD. I OFTEN REVIEW MY LIFE AS TIME PASSES BY. WHATEVER I DO WITH MY DAUGHTER, IT IS TO MAKE UP FOR THE SHORTCOMINGS OF MY PERSONALITY.

Tongtong performs for her mother.

Lilian says I AM SURE MY DAUGHTER HAS PRESSURE. BUT WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. YOU LIVE IN THIS SOCIETY, YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE.

The narrator says 30 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE ONE CHILD POLICY BEGAN. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT WE, AS THE PRODUCTS OF THE POLICY, HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TELL OUR OWN STORY. THIS IS A PERSONAL STORY, A GENERATION'S STORY AND A NATION'S STORY.

The interviewer says WHAT'S THIS?

Ada shows her tattoos on her shoulders and says A PAIR OF WINGS

The interviewer says WHAT DOES THIS REPRESENT?
Ada says FREEDOM.

Yan says IN CHINA TODAY, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE MONEY. YOU WILL BE NOBODY IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT.

The interviewer says WHEN WILL YOU START TO PRODUCE A BABY?

In her wedding dress, Yan's wife points at her belly and says IT IS HERE ALREADY.

The interviewer says DO YOUR PARENTS KNOW?

Yan says MY MUM KNOWS.

Yan's wife says MY MUM DOESN'T.

Lucy says I DON'T CONSIDER HAVING A CAR OR A HOUSE A DREAM, THOSE ARE MATERIAL THINGS. I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD STILL PURSUE SPIRITUALITY. I AM SATISFIED WITH MY CURRENT SITUATION: SOMEONE CAN HELP TO LOOK AFTER MY SON; MY HUSBAND TRAVELS HOME WITH ME; MY WORKING COLLEAGUES ARE VERY FRIENDLY; MY BOSS IS NICE. I THINK IT IS VERY SWEET.

Matao says SOMETIMES ONE CHILD'S PRESSURE COMES FROM OURSELVES. BECAUSE WE HAVE NO COMPARISON, WE ALWAYS THINK WE ARE THE BEST. BUT YOU GO OUT AND FIND OUT YOU ARE NO LONGER THE CENTER OF ATTENTION, YOU JUST FEEL LONELY.

Alan says FIRST OF ALL, I HAVE TO SAY I HATE THIS POLICY. WITHOUT THIS POLICY, I WOULD HAVE SIBLINGS, I WOULD HAVE LESS PRESSURE FROM MY FAMILY AND HAVE A MUCH HAPPIER LIFE. HOWEVER, I ALSO AM THANKFUL FOR THIS POLICY. WITHOUT IT, MY PARENTS PROBABLY WON'T SPEND ALL THEIR MONEY ON ME. I WON'T BE ABLE TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD, BE WHO I AM TODAY. SINCE IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED, WE SHOULDN'T TRY TO AVOID IT OR SIMPLY JUST SAY IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG, GOOD OR BAD. WE SHOULD JUDGE IT OBJECTIVELY!

A clip rolls with the caption "Ada's birthday dinner. Shanghai, China."

Another clip rolls with the caption "Yan's wedding. Beijing, China."

Another clip rolls with the caption "Lilian's home. Tianjin, China."

Another clip rolls with the caption "Matao's home. Tianjin, China."

The caption changes to "Matao is pursuing her Master's studies in another city, she has never felt so much freedom."

The caption changes to "Alan lives alone in Beijing and is preparing for his fourth book."

The caption changes to "Yan still works as a tour guide and just had a baby boy."

The caption changes to "Wangwang is now living in Shanghai with Ada."

The caption changes to "Lucy gave birth to a baby girl, one year after the interview."

The caption changes to 'After being diagnosed with depression, Tongtong no longer goes to extra classes. Lilian continues to work hard to pay off her mortgage."
Music plays as the end credits roll.

Directed by Sophie Zhang.

Produced by David Harry Baldock.

The Narrator says Sophie Zhang.

Copyright 2013, Baraka Productions Ltd. All right reserved.

Logo: Flame Distribution.

www.flamedistribution.com

Watch: Only Me Generation