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The phenomenon of young people living by themselves has led to the development of some products tailored to these singletons like live broadcasts of people eating and books about this lifestyle. Though many enjoy their quiet Nicolas Otamendi Jersey , independent lives, there are some who miss sharing their homes with others.

  Watching live broadcasts or broadcasting oneself are popular among young Chinese who live by themselves. Photo: IC

More and more of China's young people are living lives reminiscent of the protagonist of the film Life of Pi.


But instead of being adrift on a small boat with a fierce Bengal tiger in the middle of the ocean, they are living with pussycats in the country's concrete jungles, far away from their families.


Wu Yan (pseudonym) from icy Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, is now the sole human resident of the flat just outside Beijing's Fifth Ring Road that he shares with his British Shorthair moggy. Asked to describe his life, he answers "a boring routine."


Though the 27-year-old's job at an academic institute is challenging and intense Marlos Moreno Jersey , he insists on going to the gym for an hour every day, so he can spend more time out of his quiet home.


However, his social life usually begins at home around 9 pm. Wu usually watches live streaming shows online for company until he is too tired to keep his eyes open in the wee hours.


Wu feels lonely, but he is not alone.

Living alone. Photo: IC

Rising numbers




Nearly 60 million people live alone in China, a third of whom are between 20 and 39 years old.


Studies have shown that the number of one-person households correlates with a country's overall level of development. The rate of solo living has risen dramatically in recent decades in countries like the US (27%), Sweden (47%), Japan (32%) and Canada (28%) Leroy Sane Jersey , according to a 2013 CBS News report.


While in 1990 just 6 percent of Chinese households had only one person, by 2013 that rate had risen to 14.6 percent, according to official data.


It is estimated that 132 million Chinese will live alone by 2050, Jean Yeung, director of the Center for Family and Population Research at the National University of Singapore, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.


Some people looking to explain this rise point to the fact that Chinese are marrying later than in previous decades, while others blame the country's family planning policies which have shrunk the size of the family in China and allowed people to get used to spending less time with others.


"Today's young singletons actively reframe living alone as a mark of distinction and success Kyle Walker Jersey , not social failure," US sociologist Eric Klinenberg wrote in his book Going Solo.


Noting that most young people who live alone have chosen this lifestyle, Klinenberg also argues that living alone allows people to embrace "modern values - individual freedom, personal control and self-realization… It allows us to do what we want, when we want, on our own terms."


Baibai (pseudonym) loves living alone. The 22-year-old lived alone since her parents sent her to a British high school when she was 16.


"Living alone is a lifestyle that people need time to get used to," Baibai told the Global Times. "It depends on not only one's personality but also his or her life experiences."


Baibai has traveled alone to destinations including Thailand Kevin De Bruyne Jersey , Hong Kong and a number of places in northern England near her former university.


Instead of using the word alone, people like Baibai prefer to describe themselves as independent and don't see themselves as bucking as social norms.


Li Xiaoke, freelancer for the travel guide series Lonely Planet, once said that traveling alone is not ostentatious but fulfills the mental need for solitude.


"When alone, I don't have to care too much about others, so I can entirely relax myself, and living alone can provide you a chance to talk to yourself Kelechi Iheanacho Jersey , this is something that you can rarely do when living with other people, and it helps you to get to know yourself better." Baibai told the Global Times on August 25.




Culture of solitude




As this lifestyle grows more common, it has found expression in books, videos, and movies.


These kinds of cultural products, which mainly discuss the positive side of living alone, have become massively popular. Many are imported from countries with cultural similarities to China John Stones Jersey , like Japan and South Korea.


Midnight Diner, a Japanese comic book series, which takes a look at the lonely lives of the patrons of a restaurant open only at night, has been a hit in this genre. The comic books were made into a soap opera in Japan in 2009 and the Chinese version of the show is set to hit screens within the year. Chinese books like Longterm Singletons Will Be Killed and How to Marry a Man After You're 25 have also proven popular.


Cai Yani is seen by many as a leading voice of the solo-living community in China.


After quitting her well-paying media job, she filmed 12 videos which showed viewers how to cook delicious meals for one. Her series Eating Alone has been viewed over 11 million times on Youku, one of China's biggest online video platforms. Her book of the same name sold 70,000 copies in six months.


"I left Shanghai because I couldn't find anybody to talk to Jason Denayer Jersey , but I came back here in the end, because I suddenly realized that I really enjoy such loneliness," Cai told the Southern Weekly.


Unsurprisingly, this topic is regularly discussed online. The "traveling alone" section on Baidu Tieba, an online forum, has more than a million followers and 3.2 million posts. Similarly, on question and answer site Zhihu Ilkay Gundogan Jersey , the question "How does traveling alone feel?" has received over 3,846 answers.


The South Korean idea of mukbang, or

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