Determined to be single for life
The decline in marriage rate, the increase in the number of single people or the increase in late marriage is a problem not unique to any country in the world today. In Asia, especially in East Asia, which is still influenced by traditional culture and values the influence of the family, more and more young people are determined to live alone for the rest of their lives. The reason has long been no longer encapsulated in financial matters.
Min Kyeong-seok, a single 37-year-old South Korean man, said he has never been afraid to eat alone, go to luxury hotels alone. He shares his personal experiences on a daily basis on a blog called “Happy Alone”.
“I want to show people that I’m single and very happy. Koreans have always thought that single people, especially older singles, are very poor, lonely or poor, even problematic. It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical or mental. But I really don’t need to eat with other people to feel good. If there’s anything that makes my meal taste better, it’s the service attitude of the staff.”Min confided.
The “happy single” lifestyle of today’s young Korean generation has become so popular that it has given it its own name. Those who choose to live alone, with no intention of getting married are called honjok, a combination of 2 words meaning “alone” and “tribe”. There is also a new word for women who don’t want to get married Bihon. Life style honjok only for those who actively choose to be single, satisfied with this decision and do not care about the judgment of the outside world.
Many people now enjoy a happy life alone (Artwork)
Min Kyeong-seok said it was the old traditional ideas that made him bored, wanting to choose a new lifestyle that is more comfortable, freer and contrary to what his parents and previous generations did.
“Living in Korea, you will always feel that you are attached to duties from birth. When you were a child, you had to go to a good school, then you had to get a decent job, get married and have children. If you don’t follow the right steps, you will be looked down on and considered incompetent.”Min said.
Diverse reasons to choose to live alone
In 2020, the rate of single households in Korea increased to a record 31.7%, of which the majority were in their 20s and 30s. The rate of marriage registration and childbearing also decreased steadily. by the time. The main reason is still said to be because the cost of living is too high, living alone is difficult, let alone having to feed others. In Korea, there is still a concept that a prerequisite for marriage is to have a home. Meanwhile, in just the past 4 years, the average price of apartments in Seoul has doubled.
Joongseek Lee, a professor from Seoul National University who is researching the trend of single living, said that although society still has patriarchal ideology and attaches great importance to “becoming a family”, young people still prefer to live alone. prefer to live alone.
The birth rate in Korea in 2021 is the lowest in the world
But finances have long ceased to be the only reason people choose not to get married. There are many wealthy people who are also “infatuated” with being alone for the rest of their lives.
Lee Ye-eun, a bachelor’s graduate from the prestigious Seoul University, said gender inequality in Korea makes her hate marriage. This East Asian country still has a large salary gap between men and women.
“I won’t date, don’t love, don’t get married and definitely won’t have children, even if given money. I don’t hate marriage because I can’t find a good man, but because this society has defaulted on people. women have to be in a lower position in a relationship”the 25-year-old girl affirmed that she was determined to live alone for the rest of her life.
Lee Ye-eun also said that not having a family and children also gives her more time to focus on other aspects of life and enjoy other types of happiness.
Kang Ye-seul, 27 years old, a woman who chooses a lifestyle Bihon also had similar thoughts: “Being single helps me have more time to pursue my passion and career, and also regularly meet single friends like me. In the past, I have also framed the concept of ‘happiness’ happy’ as society sets, that is to have a husband, to be a mother. But now that I am happy and free when I choose the bihon lifestyle, I realize that sometimes I am even happier than before. Is there a universal standard for such a thing as ‘happiness’?.
The rigid standards of the old society make young people want to do the opposite (Artwork)
Busy pursuing other goals in life
Many East Asian countries are thriving economically, which makes the labor market more competitive and people working more. In China, the number of young people choosing to live alone is also increasing gradually and becoming an inevitable trend, despite many efforts by the government to encourage birth. In addition to the eternal reason of life pressure and money, many Gen Z women in this country do not get married because they want to pursue a career rather than pursuing love.
Ye Liu, a professor of Chinese descent from Kings College London (UK) commented on today’s Gen Z: “Most people still aspire to be able to balance work and family. Without a stable career and opportunities to secure a future life, it is difficult to convince young people to have children. Women belong to the world. Gen Z now has a higher level of education than previous generations, after graduating they will prioritize career development before getting married.”.
However, when they entered the age of “too old to miss” by traditional standards, they were less likely to choose a suitable life partner. That’s why many people choose to stay single because they are economically independent, no longer eager for marriage, and no longer pressured to “get married”.
Prioritizing life has been given to work, so many people gradually consider marriage to be secondary (Artwork)
Source: The Guardian
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