For many, Chinese dream means happiness
Updated: 2013-09-06 08:01
By Wang Shanshan in Beijing (China Daily)
A prosperous economy alone is not always enough, reports Wang Shanshan in Beijing.
Jessie Zhang is a receptionist at a multinational company in Beijing. Every day she takes delivery of around 100 packages, mainly the results of online shopping by colleagues.
"When my co-workers come to collect their goodies, I can see the glitter in their eyes," she said. "They are always very happy."
The Chinese are famous for their love of shopping. During the seven-day Spring Festival in February, Chinese tourists overseas bought goods worth $7.2 billion. Meanwhile, Chinese shoppers were responsible for two-thirds of luxury goods purchases in Europe over the same period.
But the happiness of shopping is fleeting and quickly vanishes after one wears a new outfit to the office and enjoys that "look-at-me moment", and the feel-good factor is replaced by anxiety about the credit card debt, according to psychologists.
As China becomes wealthier, how can its people become happier? The country is undoubtedly the world's second-largest economy, but the happiness of its people is less certain. At the end of 2012, a Gallup poll of 37 countries declared China to be the 10th-happiest country in the world, but in April of the same year a United Nations report put China at 70th.
In his "Chinese Dream" speech in November, President Xi Jinping set the goals of "a prosperous country, a rejuvenated nation, and a happy people". In 2011, Wang Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee, vowed to build a "happy Guangdong", when he was Party secretary of the southern province.