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Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 19:30

China’s millennials – their hopes and aspirations, and the pressure to conform with traditional expectations

Karoline Kan

Embassy of India
5 Liangmaqiao North Street Chaoyang

朝阳区 亮马桥北街 5号 印度大使馆

We are thrilled to announce a talk from author Karoline Kan on China’s millennials. What do they want from life, and what is the impact of China’s rapid pace of change on their world view?

Everyone is familiar with China’s boom – its rapid growth in economy, technology and global standing. But what has it meant for those growing up in China’s rise? It’s often assumed that the whirlwind of opportunity and change has swept aside old conventions. Yet for many young Chinese in their 20s and 30s, issues such as traditional gender roles, marriage and dating norms, parental pressure, and the divide beween rural and city dwellers remain directly relevant, even while they are keeping pace with vast changes in their personal and professional lives.

Author Karoline Kan has a unique inside view of life for China’s young generation. Herself a millennial, born in 1989 during China’s single child policy, her mother had to hide the pregnancy. Later the family moved from the Tianjin countryside to the city, and Karoline experienced the struggles and discrimination faced by a migrant. But the family’s gamble paid off, and Karoline was able to attend university in Beijing and then work in international offices – giving her a unique new perspective on her life and the lives of her contemporaries.

Join us to hear Karoline’s take on China’s youth. Find out why where you’re born in China still dictates life opportunities, why women are considered ‘old tofu’ after the age of 30, what pressures young professionals face as they combine work with family, what millennials really know or care about the world beyond the ‘Great Firewall’ and why it would still be considered a ‘disaster’ if a woman ever ran the country.

Karoline Kan

Karoline Kan is the author of Under Red Skies, the first book written in English by a Chinese millennial, published in 2019. She is the Beijing Editor at chinadialogue. Before joining chinadialogue, she was a journalist at The New York Times and Radio France International. She has won the 2016 International China Journalists Association’s award, in the section of opinion/personal narrative. And in 2019, her writing won The Honorable Mention by The Society of Publishers in Asia Awards of reporting on Arts &Culture. Follow her on Twitter: @KarolineCQKan

Copies of Karoline’s book will be available for sale (cash or WeChat) at the event.


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Registration will be closed when we reach the venue’s maximum capacity. The very latest registration is midday (12.00pm) on Wednesday 30 October. We cannot accept RSVPs after this time.

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Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60; students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture.