Entertainment

China changing generation depicted in Xiamen Nightlife

Updated: 2008-11-14
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The exodus of rural population to urban areas continues in China. However, the trend is changing. Instead of the blue collar migrants, the many million of graduates and white collar job seeks pouring into China big cities in search of thrill and better life, these latest population shifts are changing the city population mix.

 

Gone are the days in the 80s and 90s where mobility of rural dwellers to urban cities is restricted by ‘Hukou’. The economic development centralized in and around big cities in China requires more educated working population. There is increasing shortage of skilled labour, especially the well educated. The rural graduates provide this vacuum.

 

One of Xiamen night spots, Haiwan Park entertainment area at night

 

Haiwan Park entertainment area at day

 

These new type of migrants are from all over China. The young, highly mobile and daring, lured by promise of good jobs, bright lights and colourful lifestyle are swamping the metropolis in China.

 

In Fujian, Xiamen remains the big pull for this pool of workforce. The lure of better lifestyle in the Fujian most metropolis city, its well planned city, better public transports, dwellings, shops, restaurants and better opportunities are some of the factors which make Xiamen more attractive place to live, especially for the young and upward mobile.

 

Many of these new comers, away from their home and away from their parents, and without the scrutiny of their inner social circles to keep the check and balances are cutting lose. They regulate thrill ridden entertainment venues and are decorating the night scenes of the city’s disco clubs.

 

 

  They regulate thrill ridden entertainment venues and are decorating the night scenes of the city’s disco clubs.

 

These young boys and girls, with not much social taboo and restriction, are painting the town red. Alcohol, sex, dances, and shows are all part of the funs, especially on the weekend.

 

Here in Xiamen, night entertainment venues, bars, taverns, social clubs and disco clubs are springing up like mushrooms.

 

For them, they hide in the thrill of the night glitters, in big city camouflage. Blowing their cover to any one from their home town social circle could spell big trouble.

 

For the 25-year-old female property sales agent from the rural Fujian says she would "never dare" tell her parents what she gets up to in Xiamen city after work and after dark.

 

 

  The daily grind of chasing dreams and money brings an equally intense desire to "chill out", and Xiamen's spectacular nightlife is a seduction few can resist.

 

"My parents were poor farmers; their lives were full of hardship," she says. "But I want a more glamorous life. I work hard and play hard, too."

 

Monica’s passion for the Xiamen’s bars and clubs might shock the folks back home, but she epitomizes China's young adults at the dawn of the 21st century.

 

The daily grind of chasing dreams and money brings an equally intense desire to "chill out", and Xiamen's spectacular nightlife is a seduction few can resist.

 

A dissonant rumbling of dance beats and the glare of LED and neon lights emanates from the hive of nightclubs. Here at Haiwan Park where the latest night funs congregated is the ideal spot to party whole night.

 

A ever present line of taxis, punctuated by the occasional Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Ferrari, creeps along the street in front of the chockablock strip of nightspots, while the Park roils with crowds of clubbers.

 

It's a quarter to midnight on a Thursday, and 26-year-old Fujian native Monica and her friends are here to "rock".

 

 

Young and moneyed Chinese finding solace from the stress, and relishing in the glamour, of the country's fast-paced modernization in its emerging nightlife scene.

 

"In China, we face so much pressure at work, pleasing our bosses, keeping good face and expanding client relationships, that we need to go out with friends and blow off steam," the real estate sales consultant says. "That's why I love nightlife; it's where I can escape and have fun."

 

Monica has joined the swelling ranks of mostly young and moneyed Chinese finding solace from the stress, and relishing in the glamour, of the country's fast-paced modernization in its emerging nightlife scene.

 

"I like it because it's loud, crowded and exciting," Monica says. "I can be fashionable but don't have to care what anyone thinks and can act a little crazy if I want."

 

China's burgeoning nightlife scene - largely yet confined to its major metropolises - is still relatively young. Many industry insiders attribute its rapid development in recent years to a growth spurt marking the end of its turbulent teens.

 

Xiamen's scene was born 10 years ago near Hubinbei Street, Bailuzhou Park night venues and Binlang Street, when some well known Xiamen expat socialite poured the first drink at La Bomba, Elite, Tienlai, The Orient, The Londoner, the city's first pubs and discos. The nightspot was packed with an exclusively expatriate crowd.

 

Now, it's a big industry.

 

Increasingly, the outside world is taking notice. In the past few years, all of the World Top DJs have visited the country, and many have by now made several trips.

 

"There is a group of Chinese people now with high disposable incomes who want to dress up and go to nightclubs that play this type of music China is a happening place, and that's why I'm here." said Gary, an expat from Australia.

 

"The biggest clubs that are always packed are the local clubs; they're more packed than the Western ones,"

 

Clad in baggy paints, a loose teal T-shirt and a black-and-white "truckers' cap", the 28-year-old Tim. says the appeal for him is meeting new people and dancing.

 

"I love hip-hop so much; I could sing along with it and dance to it every day of every year." But since discovering the Xiamen's nightlife two years ago, he's indulged in its offerings about twice a week.

 

However, while a growing number of Chinese are embracing nightlife, many still shun it as something "bad people" do.

 

"People still have stereotypes about nightclubs, especially the parents' generation; they've never been to nightclubs, so they don't know what's happening," Monica says.
 

SOURCE: WOX Info

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