Modern life of Chinese elderly


Liu, 71, lives alone for a long time. She arranges a full daily life since retirement by doing physical excises and watching the stock quotes. “I don’t have high wages, but I can support life on my own. I enjoy traveling and freedom. I am happy about my present life.”


This is the model team with an average age of over 60. “We used to be busy with our work or raising the kids. Now we are free, we can try the beautiful dress that we didn’t have opportunities to wear when we were young. We are here to regain the self-confidence and beauty.”


The choir has more than 90 members since its establishment. They come from all walks of life, teachers, civil servants, workers, soldiers…… “We have taken the choir as home. We will go out or sing Karaoke together when there’s no rehearsal.”


Yang Lesheng, 71, was a zookeeper before retirement. For a moment, he suffered from cervical spondylosis, so he created a dance to practice the neck by putting a bottle on the head. He also made the costume especially for the dance.


Zhou, 73, was a worker before retirement. He holds a chess arena in the street every day at 8 am. He can’t remember how many people he has played chess with in 10 years. “We should search for fun by ourselves. I feel happy even for going out at midnight with friends only to watch the stars!”


Wang Xingshan (right), 63, has lived in Shichahai area in Beijing for 40 years. He has practiced Jinghu (a two-stringed bowed instrument with a high register) for 30 years. He and his friends are the fans of Beijing Opera. At 4 p.m. in every afternoon, they gather together to play the Beijing Opera music with their instruments till 7 or 8 p.m. The oldest of them is 80.


Miao and Shang live with their son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter after retirement. Now their daily work is to take care of the granddaughter. “My son and my daughter-in-law work very hard and get home late, especially my daughter-in-law travels frequently for business. The only thing we can do is to reduce the life burden of our children.” After taking the granddaughter back home from the school, Shang accompanied her to practice the piano for 2 hours while Miao started to prepare dinner.


Kang Xiuru, 68, the creator of perform group of “happiness of elderly”. She plays the piano and knows a lot of dances such as Mongolian dance, Tibetan dance and belly dance. By her efforts, the number of the group members has been increased to more than 10. Two of them are more than 80-year-old.


Liu, 62, was an accountant before retirement. She continues to work as the accountant after retirement. Liu said that she enjoyed being with young people, which makes her feel younger also.


Zhang Shurong, 75, has served as a community volunteer for 10 years. Every day she is busy to organize the community activities; sometimes, she works 12 hours a day. Her children are all married. Her husband is keen on croquet. She enjoys her life very much:” I have no pressure, but only pleasure.”


Shi, 72, takes one hour and a half to Jingshan Park by bus every morning. He has taught people the exercise of Rouliqiu for free for five years from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. every morning. Now he has set up the Rouliqiu team in Jingshan Park. His wish is to let more elderly to have a healthy body.


Zhao, 68, worked in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications before retirement. He loves calligraphy, especially the ground calligraphy after retirement. He has left his handwritings on the ground of Beihai, Jiangshan and the Temple of Heaven. “The ground calligraphy can practice brawn and also the brain. My handwritings on the ground will attract the elderly with the same hobby. Talking with them brings me a lot fun.”

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